I had been noticing a steady increase in the traffic on some domain names that I have parked. Nothing huge but names going from 1 or 2 uniques a day to 6 or 7 uniques. When checking the referrer stats on Voodoo, I have been seeing an increasing number of referrals from Buttons – For – Websites, I have been seeing one referral a day on TLDinvestors.com for months, but the parked names have been seeing an increase. Buttons For Websites and others like Semalt are what is called referrer spam.
Raven Tools wrote about why it is a problem and how to stop it. From the Raven Tools blog:
Referrer spam is becoming a problem. If you’re not familiar with referrer spam, it’s traffic from bots that impersonate a referral link. The pseudo traffic is designed to make their domain show up in your site analytics so that you’ll visit the site.
Why is Referrer Spam a Problem? Aside from junking up your site analytics with useless data, it’s a big waste of time. We’ve heard from many of our customers here at Raven just how frustrating it is to explain what “semalt” is to their clients and why it doesn’t matter.
While it’s possible to create a filter in Google Analytics to filter out referrer spammers like semalt, all it does is mask the problem. Also, as Himanshu Sharma has written about, it may create data sampling problems. So instead of filtering out bad data after the fact, I’m going to show you how to block it at the source.
Now with parking this can be a problem as the numbers are skewed, someone posting a domains wanted thread on a forum may see their requirements met, but it is really a fraction of those traffic requirements.
I picked a name of mine that I like as a brand for women and not focused on the traffic, I would never be selling it on a traffic/ppc multiple anyway. PinkScarf.com has had a bit of a traffic pick up on a relative basis. It turns out it is because of referrer spam.
If you are dealing with a parking provider that does not provide referrer stats you are totally in the dark about the % of real vs referrer spam your domain is getting. It would be nice for parking companies to stop this completely like mentioned in the Raven Tools article.