Semalt.com Attacks! How to Block Semalt.com and Related Bots from Your WordPress

SEM-ALTI just realized that Semalt.com is a problem when I noticed that almost all websites I’ve been handling are receiving SERIOUS amounts of traffic from this website. I’m not sure if this is something exclusive to WordPress platform websites, but it sure is a problem everywhere. Try to Google Semalt.com crawlers and you’ll see what I’m referring to!

According to their website, Semalt.com is a professional webmaster analytics tool that opens the door to new opportunities for market monitoring. They’ll ask you to enter your website URL and targeted keywords and they’ll ‘scout’ the web for analytics and even competitor research.  The service is generally free but they are offering paid service as well.

Other suspicious things about this website:

  • It is only registered for the minimum registration period of one year: 2013-09-04 to 2014-09-04. Most websites registered for one year are usually fakes.
  • It doesn’t have a secure connection (SSL). https://www.semalt .com doesn’t work.
  • It uses a third party website (fastspring) to process payments. Their payment page is located at: https://sites.fastspring .com/semalt/instant/ semaltsmallbusiness?referrer=1
 Related Article: What the heck is a Semalt? - Tenrec
What is Semalt doing on your website? - Kymodo.com.au

Here’s a screenshot from my blog’s Analytics. Hahaha, being a SEO specialist for 5 years, I sure don’t spend a lot of time promoting my blog!

Semalt.com attack on analytis

 I tried using this code from Marketing Pilgrim to block Semalt.com in my .htaccess. According to webmasters, Semalt.com by-passes Robots.txt command as well as firewall or IP address block.

# Block fake traffic
RewriteEngine on
Options +FollowSymlinks
# Block all http and https referrals from “savetubevideo.com” and all subdomains of “savetubevideo.com”
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^https?://([^.]+\.)*savetubevideo\.com\ [NC,OR]
# Block all http and https referrals from “srecorder.com” and all subdomains of “srecorder.com”
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^https?://([^.]+\.)*srecorder\.com\ [NC,OR]
# Block all http and https referrals from semalt.com” and all subdomains of “semalt.com”
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^https?://([^.]+\.)*semalt\.com\ [NC,OR]
# Block all http and https referrals from “kambasoft.com” and all subdomains of “kambasoft.com”
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^https?://([^.]+\.)*kambasoft\.com\ [NC]
RewriteRule .* – [F]

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Update 10/27/2014

Here’s another code I retrieved from WordPress forum:

SetEnvIfNoCase Referer semalt.com spammer=yes

Order allow,deny
Allow from all
Deny from env=spammer

If you have other codes or ways to block this crawler from accessing your site, please share it at contact [at] mariaespievidal.com

Maria Espie

It's a Writer's World is your online resource to digital marketing news including marketing strategies covering social media, search engine, paid ads, and more.