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The Problem with Semalt is…What f#*k is it?

3 Jan

semaltskullwarning

Over these few days, according to my stats here on wordpress, I have been receiving visits from a referrer by the name of Semalt.com.

So why the big deal? Well, not that I’m too bothered, more curious than anything really, I thought I’d click on the link just to see why the link mentions that this is something to do with competitors. That really got me thinking who the hell would be classing my meagre blog as competition. I’m not saying I’m just a small time blogger and not worth bothering about, no, but lets think about it, any blogger worth his (or her) salt would at least investigate just where their additional hits were coming from.

As I said, the link mentions competitors review ( http://semalt.com/competitors_review.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fthegrinningskull.wordpress.com) as you can see, so I decide to investigate the reason behind who or what could be checking up on this site, you hear all sorts of stuff nowadays, about how the NSA or various world governments or organisations stealing data or snooping on us. The only problem is, there’s fuck all real info about it when you search about for this “semalt”, what it is or does. The link just lead me to a landing page. Dodgy methinks. Couple this with the increase of spam comments caught by the spam filters (about 86 or so in the last couple of days) and this is looking even more shady.

This mystery even had me sign up on a 7 day trial, just so I could try and wean some explanation as to why the added hits, and why this site even considered me as competition (It is nice to think that I could ever be classed as real blog worthy competition, but realistically there were always going to be another reason!) but, alas this still didn’t help much other than discover that this was some crappy SEO bot/engine type of thing for site analysis.

As I delved more into more searching, I discovered that I was not the only one to have been visited by this crawler, this blog post over on JM Mcdonnald’s blog here http://jmmcdowell.com/2013/11/09/who-the-heck-is/ reveals that my blog is not the only one beset by this mystery, as lots of other small scale bloggers on not only wordpress, but other platforms have been crawled by this semalt too.

So, just for the record, I’d like to throw it out there and ask the blogging community who might be reading this, have you had this happening too? Or at the chance of actually getting anywhere with discovering what exactly is this nefarious(?) semalt thingy?

Please, let me know if you can help out get to the bottom of this, and any info gained, I can pass on the news and maybe put some of the more paranoid members of the blogsphere sleep a little better, knowing that they aren’t being hacked or such (Or are we all actually being set up for a hack or worse, in that case it’ll make matters worse!)

Maybe it’s just a big scheme to make everyone aware of semalt, in that sense, they might be right on the money…

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117 Responses to “The Problem with Semalt is…What f#*k is it?”

  1. kateoconnoruw August 19, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    so how to remove my web-site http://www.upcycled-wonders.com/ from their creepy database

    Like

  2. Sam Dayeh September 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I just started an online art gallery http://www.painted.org.uk and just got hit by them. I nearly signed up but I resisted because the grammar used on their website looked fishy. I’m glad I did because all I see are complaints about fake visits, spamming, all sorts. Steer well clear just to be safe!

    Like

  3. Lauri October 19, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    Starting to wonder if this is how the credit card scammer found the phone number to my spa, but didn’t know my hours, address or services. Still had a lot of fun with him.

    Like

  4. Niel January 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Happened in my blog as well.

    Like

  5. Matt January 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    I’ve been gaining more experience than I would like with using htaccess to block IPs, country codes, referrer domains, etc. There’s a new one I have no idea what to do with – I have language pt-br rising in my analytics, and the hits are alternating regularly like you’d expect from a spammer. However, the bounce rate is 0% and pages/session is always 2. Here’s the wierd part: these hits are from different cities throughout Brazil, using five different (valid) networks. Since my business is coffee related, I can’t block the country or language completely. Any suggestions?

    Like

    • grimace73 February 1, 2015 at 3:56 am #

      Hi Matt, I have no idea how to help, to be honest, I think you need to speak to someone in the know. I stopped getting any semalt activity ages ago, only to be replaced with a strange comedy me vs them war. Check out my other semalt related posts for more! I wish I could advise you where to get the info, but my computer skills are more creative based, and anything more just goes over my head. Try some web security blogs and sites, they might know more!

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Semalt.com - August 3, 2014

    […] are true. http://clicky.com/forums/?id=16360 http://www.straight.com/blogra/59320…y-flags-semalt http://thegrinningskull.wordpress.co…what-fk-is-it/ It seems they started being seen as early as January, and a number of people are not impressed. […]

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