How to block referral traffic referral is a domain name that spams your Google Analytics data with fake referral traffic. The domain name is owned by and they use it as a visual stimulant to basically catch your attention and persuade you to visit the site.

When you visit you will be forwarded to which contains a place you can submit your website for an audit. If you submit your site, you will be forwarded to[search term]&ref=test2 and then to[project ID]. where Semalt tries to sell you their services.

Referrer spam is nothing new for Semalt, they’ve been partaking in the blackhat SEO tactic for many years and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. They purchase and use new domain names like approximately every business day which can make it difficult to keep track of your website’s real data.

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.

Create a filter to block

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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