Block Secret.Google.Com Referral Spam in Google Analytics

In this article we’ll talk about what is Secret.Google.Com and how to block this referral spam in Google Analytics. 

Google’s analytics tools are a reliable method to track any kind of statistics concerning your website. Their usefulness and power make them one of the best statistics tracking options to date. With that being said, even your statistics could be targeted and manipulated, much to your surprise. Not only that, but the result of this is an increase in traffic to the website of the one who is spamming you. They use your own analytics account to draw attention. If you are a webmaster or a SEO professional, chances are you already know what we are referring to – Referral spam. This article in particular is aimed at Secret.Google.com, which is just another instance of referral spam. Below, you will find a few paragraphs detailing the nature of this spam. Please go through them carefully before proceeding with the guide at the bottom – its important to know what you are dealing prior to taking action.

What is Secret.Google.com? What does referral spam do?

Referral spam – which Secret.Google.com is an instance of – is a particular type of spam content that is only visible to website administrators through the web analytics dashboard. It usually takes the form of a fake traffic referral, a direct visit or a search term. The gist of it is fairly cunning and ingenious. A referrer – if you happen to not know – is a name or link that is shared via the HTTP header when a browser navigates through the pages of a website. This helps you track the type of audience you have and where they come from, usually accessed though the analytics dashboard. The referrer itself can be replaced by any name or link. Some spammers use this feature to link back to their own websites – their main goal of promotion – and issue multiple requests your site. Because this information is also tracked by your analytics platform, it shows up in your reports. This exact, repeated hijack of your reports is what we name referral spam.

Does it harm my site?

We must also mention that referral spam does not actually harm your site in any way – other than polluting statistics. While the goal of the spammers is fairly malicious in nature, their actions do not affect your own ranking. However, this does not mean that this issue should be ignored or neglected – or procrastinated upon – because the faster you act, the quicker you will stop the spammers dead in their tracks. The reason for this is fairly simple. A web administrator regularly checks his logs and reports to see how his website is doing. If a referral spam is taking place, he will be curious to know what that link is doing in his logs / reports. Sure enough, he could click to investigate and before he knows is, he has already done what the spammers are hoping for – interaction and curiosity. The most cunning of them all will direct you to an online store or filter you through an affiliate link that installs cookies and nets them revenue when you purchase something.

What types of referral spam are there?

There are two types of referral spam that generally roam the internet. The first one is named Crawler Referral Spam. It is less common than the other one. It involves using a web crawler – the same ones Google uses to index your site – and does perform an actual visitation to your site. These types of spam can be blocked via the .htaccess file, but are less common than usual. The other one is named Ghost Spam. It makes use of the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol – which essentially allows them to send their data directly to the Google Analytics Servers – bypassing your site altogether. This is where blocking through the .htaccess file will not be enough and you’ll need to use a filter.

Ending note

You want to avoid spam as much as possible from any location. Those that mess up your analytics are especially detrimental. With the proper understanding of Secret.Google.com and referral spam and how to set up your analytics dashboard, you are on your way to protect yourself and your site from undesired visitations and inaccurate analytics reports. You may proceed with the guide below to finalize the suspension of Secret.Google.com – the source of your problems. Again, keep in mind that using solely the .htaccess file may or may not yield you any results.

Block Secret.Google.com in Google Analytics


STEP 1: In your Analytics account go to Admin —> All Filters.

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STEP 2: Next, click New Filter and add Secret.Google.com in the Filter Name value.

STEP 3. Select the Custom Filter Type. In the Filter Field —> Campaign Source. In the Filter Pattern text box, add Secret.Google.com and click the Save button at the bottom of the webpage.

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Blocking Secret.Google.com referrer spam through .htaccess

If you know how to access your .htaccess file, you just need to input the following code in there:

## SITE REFERRER BANNING
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Secret.Google.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Secret.Google.com
RewriteRule .* - [F]

If you don’t know how to access it, do the following:

Login to your cPanel account —> File Manager —> click the check-box “Document Root for—> your website. A side note: click on “Show hidden Files” and then Go. Find the .htacess file, right click it and choose Code Edit. Input the code I gave you and Save Changes.

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Was this guide helpful?

  • Thanks heaps for this. Will the filter in Analytics be enough or should I try alter the .htaccess file as well?

     
    • HowToRemove.Guide Team

      Hello, Juliette, for best results, we advise you to use the combination of both methods. Though the filter in Analytics could help you resolve the issue on its own, it’s better if you also alter the .htaccess file. Our advice for you is to try both methods.

       
  • HowToRemove.Guide Team

    We are glad that our guide helped you. If you ever run into some other problem, you can always come back here and we will try our best to help you!

     
  • Stefano

    Done! Very easy to follow, thanks a lot. Hope it will work! 🙂

     
    • HowToRemove.Guide Team

      We, too, hope that your issue is solved. However, if tha problem still persists, make sure to werite to us in the comments and we will do our best to halp you.

       
  • HowToRemove.Guide Team

    It should go away on its own if you did everything as instructed. If the issue persists, you can send us a screenshot and we will attempt to give you further support.