hat is Semalt, and why should you remove it?
If you’ve been looking over your Google Analytics over the past couple of months, you may have seen quite a few referrals coming from a website called Semalt.com. You may have also noticed that this traffic has a nearly 100% bounce rate, which in turn impacts your overall site’s bounce rate.
If you haven’t noticed this yet, you need to start noticing it now!
So, what is Semalt?
According to Semalt.com itself, it is a ‘web service and software developer aimed at creating a high quality, cutting edge and available SEO and marketing analytics tool.’
Why should I be worried about it?
Semalt is a bot. An automated service that is referring users to your sire, inflating several numbers in your site’s analytics, including bounce rate, pages per visit and average visit duration. These three measurements are usually used to identify how well a site is doing among existing visitors, new visitors and potential visitors. With Semalt in action, your measurements are becoming messed up!
Bounce rate is calculated by the number of visitors that visit a single page on a site and then return to the search engine. The higher the bounce rate, the lower the level of engagement from visitors. Google takes note of this level of engagement, and considers it when ranking your site’s overall effectiveness and search rank score. According to Google itself ‘a good rule of thumb for an average bounce rate is between 30-40%.’ If you’re starting to notice an increased bounce rate over any given period, you should check the referral sources for sites like Semalt, to see if you’re getting any traffic from unwanted places.
But how do I remove it?
There are a few ways to remove the Semalt data from your Google Analytics account. Here are some of them:
- Create a filter within your analytics account:
- From the main Google Analytics Reporting page, choose the ‘Advanced link next to the search box.
- Change ‘Include’ to ‘Exclude’ next to the source/medium filter box.
- In the containing box, start to type ‘semalt’ and the referral site should autofill. Be sure to choose ‘semalt.com/referral’, not one of the other sources listed.
- Select ‘Apply’.
- Put the Semalt URL on the exclusion list. For this to work without adding additional code to your site, your account must be using the analytics.js version:
- Go to the ‘Admin’ tab located at the top of the Google Analytics Account.
- In the centre section labelled ‘Property, click on ‘Tracking Info’.
- Choose ‘Referral Exclusion List’.
- Click the ‘Add Referral Exclusions’ button.
- Enter ‘Semalt.com’ and ‘Semalt.semalt.com’
- Add your company domain to their Project Crawler list. This will remove the domain from its seed list. Be wary when doing this. One domain lost all his analytics data after posting to the Project Crawler list.
Another way you could protect your site is by including the ‘no follow’ attribute on some of your webpage links, such as:
<a href="#" rel="nofollow">no follow Attribute</a>
While this is all important information, Semalt is not the only referral site affecting analytics for people everywhere. It’s always important to check your analytics monthly to find any unwanted referrals aiming bots toward your site.