Dealing with SPAM

Spammers are persistent buggers.  The trade-off you always have as a business owner is that you need to make it as easy as possible for your customer to reach you, and at the same time you don’t want the inconvenience and time cost of dealing with unwanted requests.

As a website owner, there are at least 4 different ways you can get spam-

  1. In your web contact us form
  2. In your email
  3. In your Google Analytics logs
  4. By phone

Here are some things you can do, and some ways we can help...

Web Contact Us Form (Form Spam)

If your website has a "contact us" form, it's possible for people to use this to send spam.  Miru has some features built in which can help you manage this.

Contact us if you need help setting these up...

  • IP address blacklisting.  Miru is able to block incoming IP requests, but it’s difficult to separate “bad guys” from “good guys” and it takes quite a bit of time to research,  build, and maintain exclusions lists.  Still this is good if you are receiving recurring form spam from a single sender.
  • CAPTCHA robot detection.  One commonly used (but highly unfriendly-to-customers) way to minimise form spam is through CAPTCHA techniques.

Identifying "wanted" v. "unwanted" visitors is tricky at best, and is highly dependent on the type of business you run and who you are targeting as customers. 

Contact us for more options on how we can help.

By Email (Email Spam)

Email spam is perhaps the most prevalent type of spam in existance.

What can I do?

  • Google’s business mail service is the best we’ve found for detecting and blocking spam email. 
    We set this up for a lot of businesses- it’s $100 to setup and around $50/year to Google, per email account. 

Google Analytics Logs (Referral Spam)

Spammers send “referral spam” directly to Google (doesn’t even touch your site), and Google registers these in your reports.  The spammers do this because many webmaster like to see who is referring them, they go check their Analytics logs, and then go explore those referring sites.  Essentially they’re using you to drive traffic to websites who pay them. 

What can I do?

  • First, realise that what you're seeing in your analytics reports ONLY affects your reports.  It does not damage your website, or your Google rankings in any way, and you can safely ignore it.  However it does make it difficult to interpret your reports effectively.
  • To remove this spam from your reports, Use a View Filter or a Segment to exclude it.  Do not use the Google Analytics Referral Exclusion List to block it, this will not remove it from your data. 

Learn more here.

By Phone (Telemarketing)

Spam by phone (telemarketing calls) is the hardest one to prevent.  Spammers can get your phone number from your website, your domain name registration, or through listing sites such as Zenbu or Yellow Pages, or Social sites - Facebook, Google Plus and more. 

What can I do?

  • In many countries, there are often local laws you can use to defend yourself
  • Have a special phone number that you use in all advertising- your website, Facebook page, Yellow pages, etc.  Only put your direct line on your business card.  Use an answering service to screen first callers, and then forward people they can identify as legitimate callers.  You can then give out your direct line to trusted customers.
  • In New Zealand, digital answering services such as 2talk can be setup to receive and email your voicemail messages to you.  This lets you easily delete those you don't want, and you also have a permanent record of your voicemail calls on your computer.