google-liar.ru - Google Analytics Spam

Do you have strange traffic from motherboard.vice.com with page title google-liar.ru and Full Referrer "motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/google-wins-legal-battle-against-pro-trump-spammer-over-the-letter-g" in your Google Analytics reports?

What is this google-liar.ru stuff?

Traffic from motherboard.vice.com (legitimate domain) with page title google-liar.ru is one of the latest examples of Google Analytics spam that our monitoring tools have picked up. If you're seeing sessions with these exact characteristics, then your analytics account has been a victim of spammers that pollute your stats in order to get your attention.

If you check the "full referrer" of this traffic you will notice "motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/google-wins-legal-battle-against-pro-trump-spammer-over-the-letter-g" listed there, which is an actual article on the Vice site, describing a legal battle between Google and one of the most notorious GA spammers around. Why does he want the publicity? Noone can say for certain, but it has been apparent in the past few years that the guy has an issue with Google and uses all tools available to hurt them, while staying on the boundary of the law (although he might have very well crossed it, we are no legal experts on the matter).

It is important to understand that there is nothing you can do on your site or server (.htaccess rules, WP plugins, firewalls, etc.) as this is so called ghost traffic that doesn't go through your server at all. Instead, it targets Google Analytics directly using what is called "Measurement Protocol" - an otherwise very useful GA feature. Unlike regular bot spam, ghost traffic appears only in your GA reports.

Google Analytics Vitaly Rules Google Spam example of some previous spam from the same spammer

Can this traffic hurt my site?

The short answer is no. It poses no direct harm to your site. Of course, the indirect harm caused by the data polution is hard to estimate and will vary. It tends to hit smaller sites harder, as it represents a higher percentage of their overall traffic.

How can I stop or block analytics spam?

The recommended way is to setup view filters in Google Analytics. This is the easiest and most scalable solution (scalable to an extent). You can see why other options are non-options or have significant shortcomings in the recommended articles linked just below.

You can check our articles detailing the issue of analytics spam as well as solutions for google-liar.ru and spam in general:

Digital agencies managing Google Analytics for clients or using Google Analytics reports in their daily work appreaciate our fully-automated, set-and-forget solution called Auto Spam Filters that has a 14-day free trial for 3 websites. It's the best solution when dealing with tens or hundreds of clients and is used successfully by more than 2000 websites for permanent anti-spam protection.



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