If you run a website and regularly keep an eye on your analytic data, chances are you’ve come across the referrer URL buttons-for-website.com. Unfortunately this isn’t legitimate website traffic, but is referrer spam.
Anyone Received Semalt Referrer Spam?
Chances are that you’ve also had Semalt.com appear in your referrer stats at some point. Buttons-for-website.com is doing the same thing.
Referrer spam appears in your analytic data, posing as a legitimate referrer. Intrigued, you click the referrer to see who it is who’s sending you traffic. However, the referrer isn’t a real person, but is simply a bot posing as a person. They want to visit their site, that’s all.
Referrer Spam Is More Than Just A Minor Annoyance
Referrer spam can be seen as just a minor annoyance, but the problem is that it messes up your analytics data and skews your results. It really plays havoc with your bounce rate, and the most pervasive referrer spam can cause other problems. When Semalt started their spam campaign, people reported that their sites were being hit hundreds of times a day, and in some cases, dozens of times a minute.
This was causing performance issues on the websites they were spamming, causing response times to drop, or in extreme cases, causing the site to be unavailable for legitimate website visitors.
How To Block Referrer Spam?
If you’re receiving referrer spam to your website, it’s in your best interest to block it. Fortunately this isn’t too difficult and can be done a number of ways.
Editing your .htaccess file
This method is only recommended for more advanced users. The ‘.htaccess’ is a small file which sits on your webs server and can be used for a number of purposes which I won’t go into here. If you’re not an advanced user, speak to the company who hosts your site and they’ll be able to help you.
A WordPress plugin
If your website has been built using WordPress, there’s a number of plugins that will block the spam. Personally I recommend Wordfence.
It’s free to use and extremely useful. To block referrer spam just go to the ‘Advanced Blocking’ options. Goodbye referrer spam.
Buttons-for-website.com redirects to sharebutton.net,a site which is highly suspicious; there’s no ‘about’ information or contact details. Just a single page site which asks you to add a piece of code to your website in order to add social media sharing buttons. This should really set alarm bells ringing.
If you were to add the code to your website, there’s no telling what you could be letting yourself in for. The code comes from an unknown server and can perform a number of malicious acts. It could easily compromise the safety of your site, of the safety of your visitors, with the possibility of your site becoming infected and then being blacklisted.
Sharebutton.net is best avoided.