Spam referral traffic has been something which has annoyed us SEO’s for a long time when reporting to our clients.
Despite Google promising us that this would be fixed last year, month on month Google Analytics would display referral traffic from sites, which were clearly bogus.
The result of this was when reporting to our clients; overall traffic would be up and down, which would inevitably cause confusion and panic.
The way referral spam works, is the spammers hope that intrigued webmasters click on the referral links to find out why all this traffic is visiting their sites. I know, there must be a more dignified way of earning a living.
The good news is that since February, Google has blocked these sites, which means when reporting the data is much more accurate. I have no idea why this has taken so long, but it appears to be fixed.
So, when reporting In Feb-16 and comparing it Jan-16, traffic on the whole will be down, but this will straighten itself out over the coming months.