How to filter out spam referrals from Google Analytics

Written by Cristina Muñoz on 8th April 2024

Using Google Analytics to monitor your website’s success is a great way to see what’s working and gather vital information about your site visits, but more and more we are hearing about the trouble caused by spam referrals remaining in Google Analytics reports. So why is this a problem? By showing these spam referrals Google Analytics is showing us incorrect data and skewing our results, thereby preventing us from drawing solid conclusions about our website.

In the previous version of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, the filtering was done at the ‘View’ level. With GA4, ‘Views’ don’t exist anymore. Instead, you need to apply the filter to the data stream, in the List of unwanted referrals.

The first step is to identify the referral you want to exclude from your reports. For this, go to the Acquisition > User acquisition report. Here, select First user source / medium.


Can you find the unwanted domain? Copy it in your clipboard and follow the next steps.

Click on the admin panel. Under Data collection and modification, click on Data streams, and then on your website URL.

Click on Configure tag settings.


Here you will find the ‘List of unwanted referrals’. Click into it and add your unwanted domain. You can add multiple domains by adding a new condition.

Hit save, and it’s all done!

This article was posted in SEO by Cristina Muñoz

  • Cristina Muñoz

    Cristina Muñoz

    Cristina, our Digital Account Manager, has interests that read like a lonely hearts column - she likes walks along the beach, enjoys drawing and has a GSOH. She’s obsessive when it comes to analytics and is filled to the brim with ideas for our clients.