WordPress Wednesday: How to Stop Referral Spam

Time for another WordPress Wednesday! Weekly tips for new and established self-hosted WordPress users, designed to help you get the most out of your site from Sarah, a WordPress website developer.


How to Stop WordPress Referral Spam

I’ve been seeing it more and more lately – websites in my referrers that don’t have a link to my website. So what’s going on? How can I be getting referral clicks from a site that doesn’t even link to me?

Short answer: I’m not. There’s been a raft of spam referrers going around lately, playing the sneaky game of pretending to be a referrer in order to get traffic to their websites. Pretty rude, right? Not only are you not getting clicks but they’re also messing up your referral statistics. Boo!

Thankfully there’s a quick and simple way to stop it from happening. You’ll need to install the free plugin WP-Ban for this one.

The two most prevalent spam referrers I’ve come across are best-seo-offer.com and buttons-for-your-website.com (I mean, they even sound super spammy, right?). This trick won’t kill 100% of their referral antics, but it should at least slow it right down.

Once you’ve installed WP-Ban you’ll be able to access it under the Settings link in the sidebar.Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 15.54.32

Just enter the domain names that you want to ban in the Banned Referers box, save the changes and you should start to see less of theme popping up!

Sarah Chong

Sarah Chong is a freelance Wordpress website developer, an unapologetic geek and a lover of all things yellow.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you so much for this tip. I’ve been seeing that “best seo offer” website in my stats for some time now but wasn’t sure what I could do about it.

    June 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm Reply
  • Sophie

    Ah praise be!! They are SO annoying – I’m getting this ASAP!

    June 12, 2015 at 11:14 am Reply
  • Chelsea @ The Johnsons Plus Dog

    Thank you for sharing!! I’m installing the plug-in now!

    July 24, 2015 at 4:57 am Reply

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