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Referral Spam

Block Thenextweb.com Google Analytics Spam

Thenextweb.com referral spam in Google Analytics is a new breed of problem. This page is dedicated to eradicating it from your GA statistics.

Referral spam is one any website owners worst nightmares. Though it’s not as harmful a threat as one might first imagine, it can still be a pretty big pain in the neck. Thenextweb.com referral spam is one of the latest nuisances of its kind, which numerous users have been reporting to use lately. In this article we will show you an effective way to block Thenextweb.com, but we also recommend that you spend a few minutes to read through the next few paragraphs before moving on to the removal instructions. Within them we will explain the exact principles, by which referral spam operates, and we will also clarify how you should and shouldn’t react in response to such instances and why.

What is referral spam and why has Thenextweb.com targeted me?

To be more precise, Thenextweb.com is a form of what it known as ghost spam. This is the younger form of referral spam, which succeeded the pioneer in this category – classic referral spam. The difference between the two is small, but crucial and is in effect what led to the almost complete extermination of classic referral spam. So, in the case of Thenextweb.com’s predecessor, spammers would send bots and/or crawlers to various websites. The idea was to get the website owners to get curious about these strange visits, which would usually have an incredibly high bounce rate, but would keep recurring, nonetheless. Thus, the curious website owner would click back to check out this mysterious website that keeps on visiting and would in this way complete the whole cycle. You see, the spammers are only after traffic. So, picture thousands of websites being targeted in this very same manner. If even a fraction of those people click back – that would already boost the targeted website’s popularity and rating. As a result, it will start appearing higher up in Google’s search results, etc.

Pretty simple scheme, right? Well, thankfully Google was able to figure out a way to combat this practice and for a while everything went quite. Until the spammers got one step ahead and came up with ghost spam, the likes of which you are dealing with right now. The difference? Instead of using the bothersome bots, the spammers now directly head over to your Google Analytics statistics and create false data in them. Hence, they give you the impression that their website has been visiting yours, whereas that never actually happened. So, in the same way as with the classic referral spam, you click back on this visitor to check them out and create traffic for them.

Important to understand:

Though this may truly seem troubling, remember that the spammers are only meddling with your stats. They do not affect your rating, popularity, traffic count, etc. From that point of view, they don’t really cause any damage to your website. However, by entering false data into your statistics, they essentially distort them. This can become a serious issue, if you would like to keep track of your actual audience and have a realistic perception of who and how often views your website. Over time, the longer Thenextweb.com remains active, these stats will become terribly twisted and will hardly correspond to reality. And that is when users tend to make one common, but fatal mistake. They turn to the Referral Exclusion list for help. This is fundamentally wrong, because that’s not what the tool was created for. But in doing so, you will only be creating more problems on top of the existing one. How? You will report Thenextweb.com’s visits as spam and GA will be obligated to follow up on this notice. So, as Thenextweb.com never really initiated actual visits, Google Analytics won’t find any. Then it will simply proceed to mark the visits as real traffic and that is when the nightmare will begin. Not only will your stats be messed up, you will need to pay for traffic your website has never seen. The solution? After you’ve successfully blocked Thenextweb.com with the help of the below guide, you will need to invest in some proper protection against future spammers. Usually, upgrading to a better hosting service will do the job, as generally more expensive hosting will offer higher quality spam-blocking mechanisms. You’ll pay a little more, but it will effectively be investing in your own site.

Block Thenextweb.com in Google Analytics

Instruction #1: Enter your Analytics account.
After that load Admin and then – All Filters.

Instruction #2: After that, hit New Filter.
Next, add Thenextweb.com in the Filter Name value.

Instruction #3. Choose the Custom Filter Type. 
Once you see the Filter Field, go with Campaign Source.
Next, when you see the Filter Pattern text box, enter Thenextweb.com. Confirm by clicking  the Save button you will see at the bottom.

How to block Thenextweb.com referrer spam using your .htaccess file

If you are aware of a way to access your .htaccess file, you will just have to write the  code below in there:

## SITE REFERRER BANNING

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Thenextweb.com [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} Thenextweb.com

RewriteRule .* – [F]

In case you are not aware of a way to access it, follow these instructions:

Access your cPanel account,
the go to File Manager.
After that you should mark the check-box ‘Document Root for’.
Then go to your webpage.
Another important tip: choose ‘Show hidden Files’.
After that select Go. 
Look for the .htacess file.

Once you find it,  rightclick it.
From the options that appear, select Code Edit.
Enter the code above and Save Changes. 

Hopefully, we have been helpful! Tell us in the comment section. We will be glad to read what your opinion is!

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