What is semalt.com and how do I block it?

Semalt.com


Learn what semalt.com is, why the website is spamming you, and how to block referrer spam from semalt.com and other sites in Google Analytics.

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What is semalt.com?


Semalt.com is a website that engages in referrer spam indexing tactics aimed at website analytical data. It is one of the most well known referral spam websites around. Most articles about referrer spam often discuss this website. Semalt.com referrer spam is designed to create repeated site requests to the website. The benefits that semalt.com referral spammers have with this tactic is that it will help them advertise the website they want people to visit and it will also improve the spammers search engine ranking. The downside is that referrals from semalt.com can interfere with Google Analytics data and other metrics, as well as use a website’s bandwidth by creating repeat requests.

semalt.com referrer spam

Semalt uses multiple domain names in order to spam Google Analytics data. If the target visits the referred URL in their browser they will then be forwarded to a web page on Semalt’s website.

semalt.com referral

Referrer spam example

Referrer spam from Semalt is a very big and ongoing issue for many webmasters, website owners, and people who provide website services for their clients. Referral traffic from semalt.com and all the domains they use can clog up Google Analytics metrics and other analytical website data. It can have an impact on the bounce rate of websites because referral traffic from semalt.com only lands on a single web page which creates a 100% bounce rate. Spammy referral traffic can also use bandwidth and cause confusion for new website owners.

Using campaign source filter


To block semalt.com referrer spam in Google Analytics follow the instructions below. Blocking semalt.com referrer spam in Google Analytics will only mask the spam URL. To block the referrer spam URL at the sources please see the instructions below to block semalt.com referrer spam using your website’s .htaccess file.

1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to the Admin tab and click All Filters.

how to block referrer spam

2. Click the New Filter (or Add Filter) button to create a new filter.

block referrer spam

3. Add Semalt (or whatever you want to use) as the Filter Name.

4. Select the Custom Filter Type.

block referrer spam google analytics

5. In Filter Field, find and select Campaign Source in the list. In the Filter Pattern text box, add semalt.com (or the website you are getting spammed by) and click the Save button on the bottom of the web page.

Using your .htaccess file


To block semalt.com referrer spam at the source using your .htacess file add the code below to your .htaccess file. If another site is spamming you, replace semalt.com with the other domain name in the code below.

## SITE REFERRER BANNING
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt.com
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Using a WordPress plugin


Botcrawl.com has published a plugin for WordPress website called WP Referrer Spam Blocker. Our free Referrer Spam Blocker plugin for WordPress can be used to automatically block referrer spam URLs.

Our plugin is currently unavailable. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  1. Download Referrer Spam Blocker plugin for WordPress.
  2. Go to Plugins > Add New and click Upload Plugin.
  3. Click Choose File and select the referrer-spam-blocker.zip file and click Install Now.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.

1 Response

  1. Tim says:

    Be sure to block top10-way.com as well.

    It is one of their “ghost” domains that they use for referral spam.

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