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There has been some weird activity on our Google Analytics reports. We have noticed an increase of referral traffic coming from Lifehacker.com. So I checked what url from Lifehacker was throwing a link to our site and we discovered a fake site pretending to be Lifehacker.

This has been the tactic by spammers in order to advertise to webmasters. They drive traffic to the your site coming from a domain name that acts as an advertising. Naturally the webmasters checks their analytics reports see's this odd link and follows it and ends up checking out the site.

This new type attack however is clever it fakes coming from a major website but it is not. The original domain that points to the referral is xn--lifehacer-1rb.com. The browser and google analytics does not show the "xn--" and "-1rb". During the US presidential election of 2016 there were voting messages appearing on in google analytics ! This is how they got there.

There is a remaining issue too. the traffic that has been driven towards your site is worthless because it has 100% bounce rate and drives up your bandwidth usage. So these spammers are costing you money if they really decide to ramp up their efforts.


Here are some good links on this issue and how to resolve.

https://www.ohow.co/ultimate-guide-to-removing-irrelevant-traffic-in-google-analytics/

 

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