I recently released a new version of FreeFixer, and as usual after a new release I spend too much time looking at Google Analytics Real-Time stats to check out what my visitors are doing on the web site.
While doing this I noticed traffic with Twitter as the referrer under “Top Social Traffic”:
Happy times, the users are talking about the new FreeFixer release on Twitter, I thought.
The traffic appeared to be to be originating from Russia and Google Analytics claimed that the page title was:
“Vitaly rules google”
I have no such title anywhere on my site. So, this is obviously spam 🙁
So, how can the Twitter referral spam be stopped?
There are a bunch of methods to remove Analytics referer spam such as this one. One way is to add the spammer’s IP address in the web server’s .htaccess file.
If you don’t have access to the spammers IP or the .htaccess file, you can filter out Twitter referrals in Google Analytics, with these steps:
Click on the Admin tab.
Click All Filters in the Account column to the left.
Click the ADD FILTER button to create a new filter. This filter can be used for all your sites that you have hooked up on Analytics.
Give the filter a name, set Custom as the filter type and select Campaign Source.
Now we need write a regular expression to block the unwanted referrers. In this example, I’ve blocked two sites, twitter.com and motherboard.vice.com. As you can see, each site is separated by the | character.
Add the filter to the view where you are experiencing the referrer spam problem, and click Save.
And that’s it. The Twitter.com referrer spam should now disappear from the Google Analytics Real-Time stats, and all the other statistics pages that can be shown.
In my case, I had to wait for a few minutes in order for the filter to take effect.
Did this help you remove the “Vitaly Rules Google” Twitter referral spam?
Did the spam you were getting also originate from Russia?
Are you getting redirected from from Google’s search engine to Yahoo search? If you do, you probably have potentially unwanted software installed on your machine.
In my case, I had four potentially unwanted programs installed. There were called WNet, CashReminder, ActSys and PlainSavings. I removed them with FreeFixer and that stopped the browser from hijacking my Google searches. I don’t know which one of that sent me to Yahoo instead of Google.
The issue with these redirects, is that they can also be done by other potentially unwanted programs. This makes it impossible to say exactly what you need to remove to stop the unwanted redirects.
Anyway, here’s my suggestion for the b removal:
Examine what programs you have installed in the Add/Remove programs dialog in the Windows Control Panel. Do you see anything that you don’t remember installing or that was recently installed?
You can also examine the browser add-ons. Same thing here, do you see something that you don’t remember installing?
If that didn’t solve the problem, I’d recommend a scan with FreeFixer to manually track down the potentially unwanted program. FreeFixer is a freeware tool that I’m working on that scans your computer at lots of locations, such as browser add-ons, processes, Windows services, recently modified files, etc. If you want to get additional details about a file in the scan result, you can click the More Info link for that file and a web page will open up with a VirusTotal report which will be very useful to determine if the file is safe or malware:
Did you find any potentially unwanted program on your machine? Did that stop Google from redirecting to Yahoo? Please post the name of the potentially unwanted program you uninstalled from your machine in the comment below.
If you see something called Skype Packages on your machine and wonder what it is, I just want to let you know that its not part of the official Skype download. It was installed by an unofficial Skype download that was signed by Astro Delivery.
I think you should remove Skype Packages.
I’d also recommend a scan with FreeFixer to check if you got some other types of unwanted programs running on your machine.