spam pingl,

Referral traffic from Pingl is spam

Estimated reading time: 2 min

I was checking the analytics on a client site and saw a referral from a website I did not recognise.  And so I investigated it.

referral traffic, analytics referral,

New referral site turns out to be spam

After typing in the reach-publisheral website address manually (I always do this in a new browser window), an automatic redirect came into effect and I ended up on [no, don’t follow that link please].

Black Hat SEO tactics

In the SEO world there are goodies and baddies…. and it’s a game of tension between the unscrupulous on one side and those who follow search engine websites’ guidelines on the other – refereed by Google and Bing.

Black Hat is the term given to tactics that are underhand and try to cheat the system.

White Hat is the opposite – those who work within the framework set by search engines.

Updates to search engine algorithms are usually driven by their desire to undermine black hat tactics.

After a quick search I found several other commentators had found referrals in their analytics also coming from Pingl.  This rings alarm bells.

Who is Pingl?

A set of clever Black-Hatters masquerading as authentic “growth hacking” tacticians.

They use a technique called notification referrer service which is basically a spam referral to your website.  By masking their site identity they make the link “appear” to come from another site – reach-publishinglo  in my case (but others report variants on Ali Baba).  This domain is setup with the sole purpose of sending you to pingl’s home page –  it refers you directly to them.

Although you may be getting a lot of referrals from the masked page, it is not real traffic, and it can ruin your SEO – notably your bounce rate.

How to overcome referrer spam

Create filters in your Analytics to remove this traffic from your results in two ways

  1. Campaign Source Filter – will stop all traffic from the source (pingl) site
  2. Campaign Referral Path Filter – will stop single web pages
  3. Languages Setting Filter – stops traffic from named languages (was useful for Russian spam in 2017)
2 replies
  1. Johnny Vems
    Johnny Vems says:

    Rebecca, Thanks for covering this but I fail to see the connection between SEO techniques and concerns, and this fake referral domain masking of traffic. Don’t get me wrong, PingL is a horrible sounding service and business model, EVERYONE should stay away from it, but the way you’re describing SEO sounds incorrect. Google has not come out and said that it measures your bounce rate via Google Analytics – but we have heard in the industry that bounce-backs to the Search Results page where Google might have sent that traffic to you from – could be a signal, and then, yes, bounce rates are a concern. Could you clarify how you came to connecting the two?

    • Rebecca Caroe
      Rebecca Caroe says:

      Johnny – thanks for commenting. I meant that these are a ‘signal’ as you say. It’s a concern because it causes very short visits and although not tracked by analytics, I care about reputation. Sending visitors somewhere they don’t knowingly decide to go is just bad practice.


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