Something pretty interesting appeared on the radar this week, and it could potentially be the last solution you'll ever need to stop referrer spam. It's free, it's simple to set up and it's exactly the sort of solution that we'd all love to see Google implement themselves.
Welcome to the party: referrer-spam.help
Referrer-spam.help is similar to the Spam Filter Insertion Tool developed by Simo Ahava a few months back. Both tools use the Google Analytics Management API to write referrer filters to your Google Analytics account, blocking traffic from suspect domains.
Referrer-spam.help goes one step further -- it asks for permanent access to your Google Analytics account, with which it updates the spam filters automatically, as more and more referrals are created.
Yep -- it's a solution that learns!
Spam is a problem, and one of the biggest characteristics of the battle between spammer and spamee is the difficulty of keeping on top of the sources of spam.
This is the danger of the fixes that are currently out there -- they're static. They do a great job, but if you assume that after implementing them you're fixed forever, you're mistaken.
Which is why we're so excited about this new tool -- referrer-spam.help says it uses analysis of the referrers on all user accounts, to help develop and refine its detection. When a new referral spam source is detected, everyone's filters get updated.
It's certainly promising, and it's free -- and setup is easy. As with any external service, you might want to have a think about whether to offer it unfettered access to all your accounts, but assuming your organisation is happy to share data with a third party then it's hard to argue with the best solution that's around at the moment.