TL;DR: SEMALT generates something called ghost referral spam in your Analytics. This impacts your site by adding false data into your Analytics. Read on to find out more about SEMALT. If you don’t care, and just want rid of it, head to our Ghost Referrer Spam removal guide for a more long term solution!
Chances are good that if you delve into your Google Analytics account deep enough, you’ll notice some lovely referral traffic from semalt.com:
Referral traffic is always nice. But who are these purveyors of fine malt vinegar? And why does their traffic have a 100% bounce rate?
A quick Google search for “semalt” quickly starts to paint a vivid picture. “Referral spam”, “shady tactics” and “how do I block SEMalt?” leap from the page eliciting gasps of horror from webmasters everywhere. Who are these baby-eating monsters?
The Truth Behind The Mask
I personally think that SEMalt are a very misunderstood company – I mean, just take a look at them:
They have a turtle called Turbo on their staff! That’s simply adorable!
A bit more digging doesn’t help to clear things up, this blog contains a letter from the SEMalt team which portrays them as amicable and personable chaps.
On the other hand, you have blogs like this one which suggests a shadowy and nefarious criminal organisation, which employs the comic-book-villain-esque tactics of INCREASING spam visits against people that submit their website to their exclusion list using their online opt-out form. Could such diabolic, mustache-twirling villainy possibly originate from a company with a Turtle called Turbo on their payroll?
Get To The Point!
Regardless of whether the SEMalt are scheming villains or simply misunderstood, referral visits from the semalt.com domain are categorically not genuine visits. Since these are 100% not genuine, you should probably exclude them from Analytics, regardless of how cute their staff members are.
Given that there is at least one report of shenanigans from the opt-out form on the SEMALT website, I’m going to err on the side of caution and suggest that you do not use this tool. You can choose to exclude the site directly via an Analytics filter for semalt\.com
This will prevent the site from skewing your statistics from now on (historic visits cannot be removed).
1. Head to the "Admin" section of your Google Analytics's property
2. Head to the "Tracking Info" section and click "Referral Exclusion List"
3. Hit the red button marked "+ADD REFERRAL EXCLUSION" and add "semalt.com" (minus quotation marks) into the exclude domain field and press create
4. While you're there, exclude "best-seo-offer.com" (it' a pseudonym/redirect to semalt.com)
Semalt images courtesy of Semalt website
UPDATE 18/06/15: David got in touch on Twitter and sent over this handy Google Analytics Spambot Referral List. Thanks, David!