A couple of weekends back, a shady, shady link indeed showed up in my WordPress stats: a whole thread — all for me — had been started on a hate forum, and people were clicking over to my blog from it. Being the curious person I am, I clicked. Everything was the usual: either bullshit, accusations of incompetence that made little sense, or remnants of annoyance over the things I do that clash with the most people, especially asking for help.
All in all, I could have shaken it, but the truth is those things stick to me, and that’s why my policy is to block early, block often.
I closed the tab and kept away, but a few days later, when I’d stopped dwelling on it, the link showed up again in my referrals panel.
Google comes up with all sorts of results for hiding referrals in your Google Analytics, but the panel I check the most often — idly, casually — is my Jetpack WordPress stats, and I wasn’t going to stop just in case I was tempted to go feel bad about myself. I’ve been tracking my progress lately, especially my Pinterest hits, and it’s just second nature to look at them.
But seeing a link like that in your stats can be tempting. And seeing a spam link in your stats can mess them up, too. So I went out of my way to figure out a way to hide it. I even directly asked Support. And they gave me a solution, which I am now sharing with you because you know, I stayed strong those five hours, but I could have clicked in the time it took to find a way to hide the link, and seeing the thread on Sunday made me unreasonably sad for four days. I don’t want anyone else to go through that.
Luckily, it’s very simple.
How to Remove Unwanted Referral Links From Jetpack Stats on WordPress
1. Go to wordpress.com. The Jetpack plugin works by connecting your self-hosted WordPress site to your WordPress.com account, so you have stats here. You can see things by country and other things that don’t show up on your self-hosted dashboard stats.
Top left corner: click on My Sites.
2. There, above the little calendars showing your posting activity, click on Days. This will show you the usual stats from your panel, including referrals.
3. Find the link you want to hide, and click on the “…” next to it. There’s only one option there: Spam. This will, evidently, mark your link as spam. Click it! (If it’s the link you want to remove. I’m not marking Lookbook traffic as spam!)
Now the ugly referral link is gone from both your panel on WordPress.com AND your Jetpack stats panel on self-hosted WordPress, even retroactively. I don’t know if this affects your numbers; if you’re blocking spam it shouldn’t matter. If you’re blocking something shady, you may still want to keep the numbers… I don’t know. Does anybody?
But anyway, if there’s something you’re tempted to click on from your stats and you know it’s a bad idea, here’s how to hide it. If I can just save someone five hours of stress, posting this now will be worth it.