Analytics Canvas Free Referral Spam Report

Olga TsubiksAnalytics, Google Analytics Data

How Much is Referral Spam Clouding Your Data?

Giving yourself a headache trying to remove referral spam from your analytics data? Wondering if the reason behind your declining conversion rate is spam? Not sure how much those spam sessions are impacting your metrics?

Introducing the Referral Spam Report by Analytics Canvas. This report allows you to find out if referral spam is something you should be concerned about. And if it turns out referral spam is present on your website, it provides you with a list of the most notorious referral spammers – making the task of cleaning your analytics easier.

Here is what Stéphane Hamel, a highly respected member of the Google Analytics community, has to say about the report:

“As the co-moderator of the largest Google Analytics user community, I have witnessed the rising plague that is known as “referral spam”.  The report Analytics Canvas has created allows you to quickly identify how badly referral spam is affecting your Google Analytics data, and the Analytics Canvas tool helps you fix it.”

-Stéphane Hamel,


Referral Spam Report Preview


The Referral Spam Report is part of Analytics Canvas’ effort to help people simplify and automate their reporting processes so they can spend more time analyzing data and generating meaningful insights.

Customers and those enrolled in a trial can generate their own report and use all the power of Analytics Canvas Desktop to customize and expand the report to their liking.


Whats in the report exactly?

This report looks at the impact of referral spam traffic on your referral analysis. So all the percentages and comparisons are looking at your sessions where medium is “referral”.

Because it uses the Analytics Canvas platform, it can churn through a lot of data- if you have dozens of views with millions of visitors it might take a few more minutes to crunch the numbers, but it will get the job done.

At the top left of the report you will see the following. These are key numbers- first, it shows what percentage of your referral traffic is actually spam for views that are affected. It might be surprising how much this is. Then it shows you exactly how much this spam is affecting your Bounce rate and session duration- two simple but useful metrics.


Under this, it shows an overview of how many Views have more than 5% spam, and how serious the problem is (5%-15%, 15% to 25% or over 25%). This gives you a quick idea of how many bad views you’ve got.


To the right of this, you can see the trend of both sessions and percentage spam in those same problem views.


There are some more graphs that help you quantify exactly where the problems are, for example this one gives you the detail for every view, percentage spam month by month. Not an easy one to do by hand in GA.


And of course there is the list of those nasty referral sources that are causing all the trouble- this helps you know if you are missing something from your filters, and exactly what it is.


So don’t guess if referral spam is a problem. Get the data and know. By trying Analytics Canvas- which has both this template, and the ability to do just about anything besides.

Oh – and if you liked this report, please share it with other analysts and give it a review on your social media!