Have you seen ridiculous spikes in your web traffic, only to realize they are all coming from one site or a handful of sites? Then when you visit them, they end up being some odd SEO company or something completely unrelated. You’ve been hit by web spam. They inflate the visits on your Google Analytics so you can’t get accurate data. And they increase your bounce rate because they’re robots that just hit and leave.
They’ve hit my websites and my clients’ websites. Here’s an example. One week, I saw a significant increase in traffic to my own site – reaching up to 600 visits on Wednesday:
I usually get about 400 visits on weekdays, so curious about where this newfound traffic came from, I looked through my stats. On Wednesday, almost 200 visits came from referral links:
So I looked at what websites were kind enough to link to me:
From that week, you can see that almost all of it was from 2 sites. These aren’t friendly blogs that gave me a shoutout. They’re spammy SEO companies that were spamming my site with bots.
Why would they do this? A few reasons. To try to get me to visit their site to see their services (though I have no idea why they think anyone would sign up after being spammed). Also, they offer this same kind of spam traffic to their customers. You pay them to increase your web traffic, and they’ll do use the same tactic on other websites to produce the same results.
* Side Note – don’t ever pay an “SEO” company or person to optimize your SEO, increase website visits, or increase your Google page rank, without working with you on content. If they promise results without helping you create/edit content or market on social, they’ll give you false results through spam. Real traffic takes work.
How to Block Spam Visits
I’ve had many of these website spammers hit my own sites and my clients’ sites. How do you stop them? There are a few ways.
First, find out which websites are spamming you. Go into Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals. Look for websites that just sound weird or off or just spammy. Visit them to make sure.
Some suggest that you filter them out in your analytics so they don’t screw with your data, but that doesn’t solve the problem. They’re still visiting your site and wasting your server’s resources. You need to block them.
First, you need to know their IP address, which is kind of like the coordinates for where a website is located. To find that, go to http://ip-lookup.net/domain.php and enter the web address. It’ll find their IP address. This can be time consuming if you have a lot, so I’ve looked up all the ones who have hit my site and conveniently listed them here:
The Axis of Evil Spammers List:
4webmasters.org / 126.96.36.199
aliexpress.com / 188.8.131.52
best-seo-offer.com / 184.108.40.206
buttons-for-your-website.com / 220.127.116.11
event-tracking.com / 18.104.22.168
get-free-traffic-now.com / 22.214.171.124
guardlink.org / 126.96.36.199
ilovevitaly.com / 188.8.131.52
ranksonic.com / 184.108.40.206
sanjosestartups.com / 220.127.116.11
semalt.com / 18.104.22.168 (They are THE WORST)
seriousmarketersonly.org / 22.214.171.124
sharebutton.net / 126.96.36.199
sitevaluation.org / 188.8.131.52
trafficmonetize.org / 184.108.40.206
traffic-paradise.org / 220.127.116.11
webmonitizer.net / 18.104.22.168
This will be a growing list. I recommend you block all of these so they never have the chance of hitting your website.
Once you have your IP addresses, here’s how you can block them:
Block Spam IP Addresses Through CPanel
If you have access to CPanel, there’s a tool within it that you can use:
Block Spam IP Addresses Through htaccess
If you feel comfortable editing your htaccess file, you can do that as well. But be careful – modifying it incorrectly can take down your whole site.
Most simply, just enter your IP addresses in this tool: http://www.htaccesstools.com/block-ips/
Then copy and paste the generated code into your htaccess file.
Block Spam IP Addresses with WordPress Plugin
If you’re on WordPress, it’s even easy. There are plugins specifically for blocking certain IP addresses, such as WP-Ban or IP Ban. You can also install comprehensive security plugins such as Wordfence and iThemes Security, which not only ban IP address, but provides general features to secure your site.
Fight Back Against Web Spammers
Once you block them, be a good citizen and fight back. In the internet world, these people are the scum of the earth. What they do degrades the online experience for everyone, because they attack everyone and anyone. Here’s what you can do:
Report them to Google. Visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreportform?hl=en and fill out the form. If enough of these go through, Google will penalize them in search.
Flood them with Angry Emails. Visit their site, find their contact email address or contact form, and write them an angry letter. You can even send the same one over and over again to get the point across. Don’t have time? I’ve written one for you:
I know what you’re doing. You’re spamming my site and my friends’ sites. Stop it.
No one wants your crappy services. No one likes your stupid company. You’re pathetic, you’re the scum of the internet. You’re the idiots that ruin the online world for everyone.
You’ve been blacklisted from my site and reported to Google. Oh, and I’ve told all my friends, customers and clients, so they’ll be doing the same thing.
Looking forward to you shutting down and going broke.
Too abrasive for you? Feel free to edit it to tone it down. Not harsh enough? Go nuts with it. Also be sure to publicly humiliate them on social media.
Some of you know how to hack, which is a very unique skill. I am not publicly advocating that you illegally hack their websites. I’m just mention it as a random possible course of action, such as having tea with your grandmother. This course of action just happens to be against the law.
Did you find this list useful? Share it with your network. Do you have spammers to add to the list? Let me know by posting in the comments, so we can all benefit.