How to exclude or remove traffic from in Google Analytics using a simple filter

Many web analytics peeps will be seeing a strange referrer at the top of Google Analytics reports for their sites. is a piece of software that tracks a sites position in search engines and it works by sending out a crawler to your site to gather information about your site and its pages.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 16.11.32

These crawlers are then being logged as referral traffic in Google Analytics which is not a nice thing to happen. It’s not how other software providers do things – some say it’s a clever marketing stunt in order to get the attention of web masters.

The quickest way of excluding this traffic from is by creating a custom filter in Google Analytics and I’ve produced a short video below to help you set it up.


UPDATE (14th August 2014)

Many people have left comments stating they are now seeing the following in their referral reports:

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 21.14.54

Now, since applying the above filter in the video I haven’t seen these domains or referrals in my reports – I might just have been lucky. So I can’t really advise how to exclude it as the first method has worked for me.

Maybe someone who had done so can leave a comment below.

Automatically Exclude Known Bots in Google Analytics

It’s also worth remembering that Google Analytics has now introduced a new feature in the settings area where you can automatically filter out known bots.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 21.11.54


Hopefully Google Analytics has introduced this to remove the likes of Semalt and See Your Website (another site similar to Semalt) from Google Analytics data.

54 thoughts on “How to exclude or remove traffic from in Google Analytics using a simple filter

  1. Marcy

    Does excluding semalt\.com also exclude referrals from semalt.crawler?
    Thank you for your video and sharing your knowledge on semalt, helped a lot

  2. Russ

    You’ve made it more complicated than need be. It isn’t necessary to setup a custom filter. A standard filter works fine.

    New filter / fill in filter name / enter in the From ISP Domain box / click save.

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      Yes, another comment left earlier mentioned

      Wish they’d just stop it and sending out messages asking owners to submit their sites to an exclusion list. Annoying.

      Thanks for sharing the segment Graeme.

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  4. Yvonne

    Thanks for the helpful video, Pritesh! I was wondering if this works as a sort of “base” filter for when I use my custom segments? In other words, when I’m looking at my Audience Overview and use a segment, will it already have filtered out the semalt referrals?

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      Thanks for the comment Yvonne.

      This filter will exclude the data from Google Analytics from the date you set it up. So if you set it up today and viewed the data for the last 30 days then you’d still see Semalt in your reports.

      However, you could apply an advanced segment to remove semalt from the last 30 days BUT in 30 days time you won’t need to use the segment anymore.

      So in other words – a segment will remove it from the data. A filter will exclude the traffic from being logged and reduce the need to keep applying the segment each time you run reports.

      I really hope this helps and answers your question. If not please do tell me. Happy to help.

  5. Lora

    I thought the emphasis of the semalt.semalt website was to help people get more referrals to their website from different countries rather than being seen locally.

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      Thanks for the heads up! I’m not seeing anything from semalt anymore. Wonder if it’s possible to set up an alert in Google Analytics to let you know when traffic from any referrer with the word ‘semalt’ is greater than 1? May well be worth a try.

  6. Poco

    I’m also noticing referrer traffic from after I put an .htaccess block on When will they stop?!

  7. Shae McKean

    Thank you so much! Started to see this appear and when I was going to check it out my antivirus lit up my screen and told me not to visit. Then once I saw what it was that was skewing my results wanted it out. Appreciate your help!

  8. karen

    I am in the first month of using Google analytics and have already experienced traffic from, so am grateful to have found your video and advice. I have also experienced referral traffic from and talk Is this similar to semalt? Should I filter these too?

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      I think they’re smaller search engines in their own right. Talk talk is a network operator so new customers will see a talk talk homescreen on starting up a browser and then doing a search from there.

  9. Kristen

    In the last two days I have also had show up. I have followed your instructions above and then added an additional filter, but it just showed up again today. I don’t think I feel comfortable contacting them to remove my site from their database. Any advice?

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      Unfortunately I’ve not had show up since adding the filter in my video so can’t really advise – I wonder if anyone else who has left a comment can help?

  10. Dan

    Ha! So easy! I was going to get into the access or php file, as so many others have said, but this seemed easier. So we’ll see if i have rid myself of those fellas.


    I’ll have to keep this place book marked.

  11. Leila Mortaz

    Hi Pritesh,

    Thanks for your helpful video. I created “referral” filter as your video suggested but then realized that our Google Analytics is showing the referral traffic coming from “”!

    Wouldn’t it be safer then to set up a domain level filter to block everything? I think someone suggested it as well. I am thinking it would eliminate the guess work since they could create another referral name which would defeat the referral filter.

    What do you think?

    1. Pritesh Patel Post author

      Hi Leila

      You’re quite right. Unfortunately my video walkthrough was produced when only was used, I guess they then used other alternatives. Since creating the one in the video I haven’t seen in any of the sites I manage hence can’t say what method would be most appropriate but setting it at domain level makes a lot of sense.

  12. Martin Oxby

    Definitely useful – we get questions about this and are keeping our eyes on the filters for this. They refuse to change the classification of the traffic and instead insist on harvesting domains. They should classify their crawler as a bot, just like Google or Bing and then it only hits server logs and obeys robots.txt declarations.

    If they’d done it right in the first place, they might not have had half as much backlash and negative publicity.

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Kerry lucasse

    Thanks so much for all the tips! My site has been hit with semalt, semalt.semalt and semalt.crawler within weeks of launching the site, so it’s incredibly frustrating. I’ve requested that my site be removed from their crawler 2x and it will stop for about a week and start over again.

    I’m very concerned about the bounce rate on my new site and I Hope this isn’t a silly question, but if we remove semalt from our google analytics reports, will google still factor in the high bounce rate when ranking a site?

  14. Peter

    Thanks, that’s great. I have stopped and I also get variations with a prefix number from 1 to 100 i.e.,, etc. Can I create a general filter that will block any word or number ?? or do I need to enter all of them as individual filters,, etc.

  15. Pritesh Patel Post author

    Hi Peter,

    I have updated the post above, you could try ticking the box in the settings to exclude known bots. This is a new feature in Google Analytics.

    Let me know if this worked.

  16. Laurean Vincent

    Hey Pritesh,
    Thanks for sharing! I did both, so hopefully this works… It may be helpful to add where exactly to find this setting. It’s not in the filter section, it’s over in:

    Account > Property > View > View Settings (near the bottom under your currency setting).

    Again, this is for going forward only. For look-back and report clean up, may be a different story!

  17. Robert Baer, Manager Oil 4 Less LLC

    The info given SOUNDS useful, BUT……
    ….you will hate this, but….
    This is NOT a solution.
    So, the _reports_ do not show any semalt garbage.
    However, be advised, nobody has said that semalts faked referrals themselves are suppressed.
    The king still has no clothes.

  18. Nataliya

    If our bots bother you, please, use Semalt Crawler to remove your site from the list of web resources we visit. Please, make sure you have specified the subdomains of your sites as well. http:// is required. You can add the list of your sites into Semalt Crawler – each in a new line.

  19. steve

    But . . . if you dig into Seamalt you’ll find amongst other features it’s a paid competitor analysis tool i.e. it’s recording and reporting your search terms and useage statistics to your competition.

    Their removal tool sates that domain extensions (e.g. are treated as separate sites so unrealistic to block it for all but the smallest of sites.

    Only solution I know of to fix would be to run your site through a firewall from the likes of Securi or similar.

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