Bogus Stats, and How To Remove Them
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I just went in to check on my Google Analytics and noticed something weird: A giant pile of hits from something called Semalt. For me, it appears like this:
semalt.semalt.com / referral
73.semalt.com / referral
46.semalt.com / referral
10.semalt.com / referral
16.semalt.com / referral
And on, and on, and on. I’ve gotten Web site referrals before, but not like this. Referrals from Semalt also appear to be visiting more than one page in one second or less. Bizarre. So I checked it out, and it turns out that it’s some kind of keyword research program (a bot, more or less) and it erroneously drives up your stats. It effects new visitor counts, bounce rate, pageviews, etc, and makes everything look higher than it really is.
That’s some BS, in my humble opinion. But don’t worry. Here’s a link that helps you filter out Semalt’s hits from Analytics so it will no longer affect your stats: http://www.hallaminternet.com/2014/remove-semalt-google-analytics/ Does it stop them from coming to your site altogether? No. However, they will no longer be a part of your Analytics stats, and that’s a step in the right direction.
Turns out, I’ve been getting Semalt hits for months. I don’t check my Analytics terribly often because I don’t want to catch myself obsessing about the numbers. There aren’t a ton of hits from them, but there are enough that it’s slightly skewing my numbers. Check through your traffic. Put a stop to it now.
Filtering out hits from certain sites might be old hat to pros, but for a relative newbie like me, it’s news, and I hope this helps at least raise awareness that this is a thing that can happen.