Overcoming Language Spam in Google Analytics

6 January 2017

Giving two fingers to Vitaly – How to use Advanced Segments to remove language spam from your Google Analytics reports

Urgh! Spamming Google Analytics reports as a marketing tactic. Real clever, right? I don’t think I need to add “/s” for you to understand that this is sarcasm.

Anyhow, not very hot on the heels of referrer spam, which we addressed previously is the concept of language spam. Nice Mr Vitaly of Russia deciding that it’s more fun to inject dud data into your Google Analytics reports than to influence elections in other countries. Mr Vitaly, it seems, shows his fandom of Donald Trump in other ways.

language spam in Google Analytics

So, how to tackle this. Well, we could look at adding filters to Google Analytics, and you could go ahead and do that if you want. I do wonder if that would be futile, though, as the next version of spam data injection will probably use a different dimension. How many filters do we really want? Also, the instances we have seen all seem to have stopped in December. Maybe Mr Vitaly took a long Christmas break. Maybe the food in the Gulag ran out. Who knows? Either way, it doesn’t look like the data injection is continuing, for now.

Therefore, what I suggest you do is use Advanced Segments to remove the data from your reports – this will remove data that has already been injected and so cleans your entire report.

Here is an advanced segment I have created for you for that very purpose: Language Normal.

Simply click on the link and import the segment to GA (you’ll need to be logged into Analytics before you click on the link). Import the segment to all views and it will appear in your list of segments with all you others.

If you need to learn about how to apply segmentation to your reports, read more here: Google: Using Advanced Segments.

Also, if you’d like to see the data that has been injected as language spam, stop and go make yourself a cup of tea, have a sit-down and take a good look at your life. If this doesn’t help, I created a segment for you too. Import it the same way as before: Language Spam.

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