Donald in your Data: Russian Trump Spam in Google Analytics

"Secret.ɢ You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!” - What's Donald Trump doing in your Analytics data? And are Russian hackers manipulating the election? Read and find out!

“Secret.ɢ You are invited! Enter only with this ticket URL. Copy it. Vote for Trump!”

This message is popping up in Analytics accounts all over the world. It seems to come from Samara, Russia, and is a form of referral spam (also known as referrer spam, log spam or referrer bombing). Referral spam is a low-level form of spamming where abusers try to add messages in Google Analytics, usually through the means of bots. Basically, these bots create a hyperlink to any of the pages of a website (usually the root domain) containing UTM-tags - the information that Google Analytics uses to know from which source, campaign, or referral a visitor came.

Donald Trump referral spam in Analytics

Spamming for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

Personally I wonder if such a campaign wouldn’t hurt a campaign rather than help it. I would be pretty angry if a presidential candidate would try to mess with my analytics data to get me to vote. Only advanced users, web masters and SEO/SEM professionals would see this, and these are usually pretty sensitive when it comes to data!

<puts on tin foil hat> Or could it be a conspiracy from Hillary, trying to get people to vote AGAINST Trump? </>

I’d bet it’s just another generic spammer, trying to capitalize on Trump’s momentum in the media. He might have done the same thing 8 years ago for Obama. What do you think? Many voters think that Russian hackers, or even Putin himself, are rigging the presidential election. Cast your vote in this quick poll:

Who’s behind the Trump spam in Analytics?

Trump’s campaign team, to attract voters
Hillary, to discredit Trump with illegal marketing practices
A 3rd party spammer who capitalizes on Trump’s online buzz
Please Specify:

Survey Maker

Anyways, this will probably be all over by Tuesday, and let’s hope we won’t see this type of spam again!

What is

It seems that the site on doesn’t exist. Trying to visit that subdomain leads to a 500 error, meaning that there’s no server responding. No risk of malware of spyware, but it’s always better not to try it out and ignore these links.

How to get rid of referral spam

Unfortunately, there’s no way to get information OUT of Google Analytics once it’s in there. However, there are ways to keep this kind of spam out in the future, and to remove it from the reports on existing data.

How to block referral spam in Google Analytics

As the name suggests, we usually see this kind of spam in the referral-section of Google Analytics. If Analytics isn’t properly set up (that’s by far in most of the cases), you can see suspicious referrals (under Acquisition > Referrals), such as:

  • Etc.

In the case of the Vote for Trump referral spam, the information is located in the language-tag (under Audience > Geo > Language).

To effectively block referral spam, do the following in Google Analytics:

  1. Go to ADMIN > All Filters
  2. Click on “ADD FILTER”
  3. Give the filter a name (e.g. “include host only”)
  4. Click on Filter Type “Custom”
  5. Click “Include”
  6. Click “Select Field” and select “Hostname”
  7. Under “Filter Pattern”, add the domain name of your website (e.g. “”)
  8. Apply the filter to any of your profiles.

This will ensure that only Analytics requests from your own domain will be counted in Google Analytics. Automated , external requests from other domains will not be included in the data.

How to remove referral spam from Analytics reports

In order to remove referral spam from reports, add a similar filter to the reports. In the case of the Donald Trump referral spam, do the following to filter the referrer spam out of any Analytics report or Data View:

  1. Create a new Report or Segment
  2. Click on “Traffic Sources”
  3. Under “Source”, type the domain of the spammer you’d like to exclude (e.g. “”
  4. If you have multiple spammers, choose “matches RegEx” and add a list of spammer domains, separated by a pipe sign and with a backslash before the dot (e.g. “webmonetizer\.net|wmasterlead\.com”. Feel free to omit the top domain levels (e.g. “.com” or “.ru”) altogether.
  5. Save your report or segment.

List of referral spammers

To block notorious spammers before they infect your data, use instructions above and the following referral spammers list to block them before they reach your site:

List of referral spammers (doc)

You can also find the full list of referral spammers below:

Optimize Google Analytics

If you have problems with referral spam, your Google Analytics account is probably not configured correctly. This leads to corrupt data and affects your online advertising campaigns. We can reconfigure and optimize your Google Analytics account for you.
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