Quill Engage Blog

5 Resources to Combat Google Analytics SPAM

As the Quill Engage Product Manager at Narrative Science, an important part of my role is to keep on top of the tickets and email communications that come through our support team. One topic that continues to surface is the increased amount of referral SPAM our customers are seeing in their Google Analytics accounts.  

Our support team helps our customers research the problem and reports back with resources on how to combat this SPAM headache. These resources do a great job of explaining how the SPAM gets into your account in the first place, as well as outlining step by step instructions for how to mitigate your risk for SPAM and improve the overall quality of your website data.

We thought it would be helpful to aggregate these resources into one location for all of our customers to reference.

1)  Stop Ghost Spam in Google Analytics with One Filter

This iMoz article, written by Carlos Escalara from OHow.co, defines Ghost SPAM and how it differs from Crawler SPAM. The post goes into detail on how to combat each and also discusses common mistakes made when setting up filters. We love this article and refer our customers to it often.

2) Referrer SPAM: How to Remove Referral Spammers from Google Analytics Reporting

Written by Douglas Carr from the Marketing Tech blog, this post suggests setting up custom segments to filter out SPAM data. We are working on a new product feature that will allow our users to select a custom segment for Quill Engage to report on, allowing the application to use this SPAM-free data to generate reports. Many of our users have implemented Doug’s filter solution on their Google Analytics account and have it found it very helpful.

3) Removing Referral Spam from your Google Analytics

Another piece that does a nice job of defining the problem and lists some top solutions is this one written by Ben Travis at Viget.com. We love how Ben outlines the negative implications of what happens if you ignore this problem. He also provides a current list of offending sites on his “Wall of Shame”. This is a great resource to reference when you see a referral that looks a little strange in your analytics data.

4) How to Remove Referral Spam from Google Analytics: Part One & Two

This in-depth post was written by Kerri Butters from the XEN.com blog. Part one is an educational piece aimed at explaining what the various types of SPAM are and how they impact your data. Kerri uses some great screenshots and visualizations, which we find extremely helpful. In part two, she dives into their recommended steps to fix the problem.

5) How To Filter Out Google Analytics Event Tracking Spam

Just when we started to get a handle on the referral SPAM issue, we started receiving support tickets about a new kind of analytics SPAM -- Event Tracking SPAM. We added Events analysis to our Basic and Premium Quill Engage plans and started noticing a funny looking Event showing up in many of our user’s reports. After some research, we found out that yes, it is SPAM! We use this resource, written by Helen M. Overland with SearchEnginePeople.com, when talking to our users about how to handle Event Tracking SPAM and it has proven to be very helpful.

We hope you find these resources as valuable as we did! And we'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Please let us know if you have alternative ways to combat the SPAM in your Google Analytics accounts and if you know of other resources we can recommend as well.

Feel free to reach out to us anytime at quillengage@narrativescience.com.

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Quill Engage


  • 1 Google Analytics report
  • Scheduled weekly and monthly reports*
  • Basic report that includes sessions, traffic, and referrals
  • 1 email recipient
  • Google Docs integration

Quill Engage


  • Includes 10 Google Analytics reports, additional reports can be added for $4 per report
  • Scheduled weekly and monthly reports*
  • Basic report plus goals, events, and ecommerce
  • Custom Segment reporting
  • 10 email recipients
  • PDF files available for download
  • Google Docs integration
  • Custom Key Performance Indicators
  • Custom branding and colors