The referral spam bots are now from Saint Petersburg

I had written in the past about discovering the Samara Oblast bots. For those of you who are unaware, just quickly check in your Google Analytics, in the Audience reports section the Location report.

If you are receiving a bunch of traffic from Russia, then it’s most likely spammy traffic. This traffic will never convert and will always be a small set of users, however with a decently large number of sessions.

Russian Bots

The traffic was mostly relegated to one city in Russia – Samara Oblast, but now this has spread to other cities as well.

It means that either the crazy Russian who has started sending so many referral spams has opened up one more center in Saint Petersburg (20% of my spammy traffic is coming from this city).

OR

Other outfits in Russia have started adopting this technique, because god forbid it might actually be getting them results! Relevant traffic which converts!

Why should it matter?

It matters because it volume of traffic that I am seeing on some of the smaller sites I manage is more than 50% of the traffic (yes, these are sites which are not that famous :) ).

It throws off numbers, it forces me to attribute the traffic from Russia as false traffic. What happens when someone from Samara or St. Petersburg actually visits one of these sites?

They will be ignored and then I have false positives on my hand. This tactic is irksome at best and forces the analyst to either ignore the Russian cluster of visitors or wade through a large set of spammy traffic.