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Google Analytics "?from=" Behaviour Spam

Google Analytics "?from=" Behaviour Spam

Posted on 31 Jan 2016

If you've used Google Analytics for any period of time, you will no doubt have encountered issues with spam in some form. The most common form appears to be 'referral spam' in which you find many many websites listed on your 'referrals' page that never actually referred anyone to your website.

A fairly new kind of spam that I have noticed recently is committed in the 'behaviour' section of Google Analytics.

By bolting on '?' to any url that you are tracking, spammers can then write whatever they like after the question mark and it will pop up in your Google Analtyics behaviour page. This page doesn't really exist, so no need to go looking for ways to delete it. It is, however, very annoying.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A:

Filter your problems away

The simplest way to remove these from your list is to filter them out.

If you haven't already got some form of filtering in place, click on the 'add segment' button at the top of the page:

Then click the red 'new segment' button.

  1. Give the segment a name (I've called mine "Remove Behaviour Spam" in this example)
  2. Choose Advanced > Conditions from the list of the left
  3. Select 'page' from the first dropdown
  4. Select 'contains' from the second dropdown
  5. Write in "?from=" in the text box.
  6. Make sure you set the filter to 'exclude'

If you follow these instructions, your segment should look a little something like this:

Finally, click the 'save' button.

You may need to untick the 'all sessions' option from your list of segments otherwise you may be shown both the filtered and unfiltered results.

This should then remove the spam from the list. Obviously, this isn't a cure, we're just hiding the problem for now, but it should allow you to get a more accurate read of your stats until Google figures out a way to deal with these pests.

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