Have you noticed strange referral traffic from a website called semalt.com in your Google Analytics traffic sources report?
I’ve seen this traffic source in a few client accounts recently. It has a 100% bounce rate, which is an indication that it’s not quality targeted traffic. This kind of traffic can skew the average bounce rate for your website in the wrong direction so below I’ve covered how you can filter it out.
I also recommend reading this great article by Moz.com on How to stop spam bots from ruining your analytics data.
After discovering this referral traffic source, first I went to the semalt.com website and found that it is a web analytics company.
Then, I did some research in Google to see if other people were having the same issue.
The information that I found indicated that the Semalt.com website is not malicious, just annoying.
The second link has some information about how you can adjust the code of your website to block these visits.
For me, I hate the bad stats from the Semalt traffic skewing the stats for your genuine traffic.
How to Create a Filter in Google Analytics to Exclude the Data from semalt.com
Here are the steps to filter this traffic out of your overall data.
1. Click on the blue word “Advanced” next to the search box above the table of data for all your traffic
2. Change “include” to “exclude” at the left of the filter box that pops up
3. In the box called Containing, type “se” and then you’ll be able to select “semalt.com/referral” from the drop down list
4. Select Apply
5. Now you’ll see Traffic Sources data with the semalt referral traffic excluded. So the total visits, and average Bounce Rate, Pages per Visit and Average Visit Duration show data only from your other traffic sources.
Note – This process allows you to exclude the data from the data you are viewing, the data still exists in your account though, it hasn’t been removed.
Update July 2014
Semalt have advised that you can enter your URL into this form to stop their bots visiting. I tested it on my sites and it works
Need more information on how to understand the data in your Google Analytics account?
My free Google Analytics 101 Training Video series of short videos will help you gradually build your knowledge.
Melinda aka Mel, co-owner of Click-Winning Content, provides results-driven Google AdWords, Analytics and Google+ services to Australian businesses. Mel is committed to never using an acronym without explaining it first, and also likes grand slam tennis, cracked pepper and Melbourne sunsets. Please connect at the links below.