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Spambot / Ghost Filter Expanded – Deployment Recommended

Google Analytics ghost filter

A dramatic increase in spambot / ghost referral traffic was noticed over the past two months in Google Analytics reports. To block the spambot / ghost data from corrupting your sites’ analytics, a substantially expanded spambot / ghost filter was developed and tested.

The previous filter was designed to stop about 25 of the biggest spambot / ghost offenders. The new filter is designed to stop about 225 of the leading culprits.

Web Communication will continue to monitor GA data/reports for new spambot/ghost offenders, and eventually will create a second filter. (We hit Google’s character limitation with this expansion.)

Website/Google Analytics account managers are strongly encouraged to deploy the updated filter as soon as possible. (Please note: Departments that are partnering with Web Communications to help maintain Google Analytics accounts/properties have already had their spambot/ghost filters updated.)

If you are maintaining your own GA accounts/properties, here are the steps involved. (Estimated time: 1-2 minutes)

  • Log into your Google Analytics account.
  • Select a Google Analytics account.
  • Click on “All Filters.”
  • Select the ‘referral spam bots ghosts’ filter.
  • Highlight and DELETE the old “Filter Pattern.”
  • Copy and paste in the following filter pattern in the same field:

(.*(rich|uptim|websi|money|rank|site-|seo|keyword|sexy|share|search|traffic|porn|-?social-?|-button|o-o-|semalt|Get-Free|buttons-|darodar|cookie-law|compliance-|law-|ilove).*)\.(com|net|org|biz|co|es|online|info)|.*\.(xyz|it|рф|top|xn|me|ga|рф|cf|ro|ru)

  • Check the first and last characters to make sure the entire filter pattern was accepted, and nothing was cut off.
  • Click ‘Save’.
  • Exit the account.

Thank you for your help in keeping WSU analytics accurate.

**Special thanks to Jeremy Bass for his expert coding in creating this filter.

“Skip to” links for screen readers added to the Spine Parent Theme

The 109th release of the WSUWP Spine Parent Theme, version 0.27.1, was deployed earlier today. It finally adds helper links for screen readers that make skipping straight to the main content or the primary navigation much more pleasant.

Hit “Tab” on your keyboard once when a page first loads to see a Skip to main content link. Hit “Tab” a second time to see Skip to navigation. Hitting “Enter” on either of these will focus your keyboard on that area of the page, making it easier to navigate through other portions from there. Note that if you’re logged in, you’ll get a Skip to toolbar link first to help with WordPress navigation.

The concept of bypassing blocks of content is described as part of WCAG 2.0 2.4.1.

If you notice any issues related to this implementation, please let us know via a new issue on the Spine Parent Theme repository. And drop in on open labs every Friday morning to discuss!

Edit CSS updated with new features on WSUWP

Version 2.2.0 of WSUWP Custom CSS has been released and deployed to the WordPress platform at WSU.

This release contains a handful of things that may be interesting to anyone spending time editing CSS on their site.

Edit CSS now supports easy saving via AJAX. Rather than click “Save Stylesheet” every time you have a change to save, you can use CMD-s or CTRL-s on your keyboard. A message will briefly show at the top of the screen showing the progress of the save and then you’ll be able to continue working.

Support for full screen editing is also available. Hit ESC on the keyboard whenever the cursor is focused on the Edit CSS window and the code editor will fill the browser window. AJAX saving with CMD-s and CTRL-s works in this view as well.

Thanks to Nate Owen for both of those changes!

Also of note:

  • The CSS preprocessor settings have been removed. These never actually worked in our implementation, so now the clutter is gone. 🙂
  • The font-feature-settings property is now supported.
  • Multiple display properties are supported in a single CSS rule.

Enjoy the changes. If you have any requests for missing properties or new features, please open an issue on GitHub, stop by a weekly open lab, or leave a note in the WSU Web Slack.