How to block referrer spam in Google Analytics referrer spam

Just about every day purchases a new domain name and uses it to referrer spam your Google Analytics data with fake referral traffic. Semalt makes it look like as if someone was referred to your website from even though no one actually was. This is a type of web traffic known as ghost traffic and the purpose of it in this scenario is to obtain your attention and persuade you to visit referral

It’s not recommended to visit because the primary purpose of the domain name is to spam you and potentially harm your Google Analytics data. However, if you do visit you will be forwarded to a website such as,,,,, or other. The page you are forwarded to contains a text field where you can submit your website for an audit and if you submit your site you will be forwarded to[search term]&ref=test2 and then to[project ID].

Semalt will then attempt to obtain information about you and get you to link a social media account to their website. If you provide Semalt with your email address you will receive deceptive spam messages from Semalt each day so I suggest that you don’t give them a way to contact you.

Is referrer spam harmful?

Referrer spam may seem harmless or somewhat of a nuisance but it can actually ruin your Google Analytics data by manufacturing incorrect information. For example, fake visitors from appear to visit only one page on your site and leave your site from the same page. This creates a 100% bounce rate and measures to 1 page per session. Visitors also average 00:00:00 length of a session, among other changes to various site metrics.

Also, keep in mind that no one was actually referred to your website from No one used your bandwidth or took a step onto your site’s server, so referral traffic is just filling your reports with false information.

How to create a filter

Here’s how to create a campaign source filter to block all referral traffic in Google Analytics.

  1. Open your Google Analytics account and go to Admin > Filters (on the right side in the VIEW section).
  2. Click the + ADD FILTER button.
  3. Create a Filter Name such as “ filter” or “Semalt filter.”
  4. Select the Custom Filter Type.
  5. In Filter Field, find and select Campaign Source.
  6. In the Filter Pattern text box, add and click the blue Save button on the bottom of the web page.

To add multiple domain names to the same filter you can make a Filter Pattern similar to this with a | between each URL: | Example\.com |

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.

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