What is Ghost Traffic?
Ghost traffic is the number of false visits generated in your website analytics tool especially Google analytics. There are few websites which create false visit entries in your analytics account and get recorded as visits. The actual fact is that they never visit your website. Because they don’t actually visit but show up as a referral traffic in your analytics and hence this traffic is called “Ghost Traffic”.
You can get more info by reading the Google product forum discussions at https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/analytics/roT6BOsRbx0
Identifying Ghost Traffic?
There are a few notorious websites which send ghost traffic to your site. To identify whether you are one of the victims or not visit your traffic sources in your Analytics tool. If you see any unusual keywords in organic search or any unusual URLs in your referral tab, then you can be rest assured that they have gotten to your website. A list of the famous sites generating Ghost traffic are below.
Why The Heck They Are Doing So?
Assumption here is that the reader of the article are affected by the ghost traffic and actually it is very difficult to fathom the reason. But the answer is simple they are just after more clicks and traffic as well. As the referral traffic show up in analytics for the webmasters they go to those sites to find out where and how the link is placed. Meaning they don’t just visit the site but also spend considerable time doing research. In many cases even becoming returning visitors.
Can you Get Rid of It?
Actually it is sort of impossible to get rid of the ghost links because there is no real visit. You can add filters in your analytics and especially in google analytics but unfortunately there is not much you can do on your website to keep them away.
Does Ghost Traffic Affect SEO Rankings?
Well interestingly the answer to this question is a big “NO”. No date from Google analytics is considered relevant by the Google webspam team. Hence for yourself the Ghost traffic is primarily a nuisance in the analytics and that is all. All it does is messes up your reports.
Is there Permanent Solution?
Not at the moment and as a webmaster you can’t do anything. We need to wait for Google to take action against this and provide some guidelines.
Below is a list of the most popular Referral Spam List from Google Analytics: Updated 5/1/2015