Dear….what would you write?

16 Jan

There seems to be more activity on many websites regarding the infamous today, and along with many others I actually received some mail from my personal manager. (remember that I’m a bright spark that in the attempt to gather info about them, I actually signed up for a 7 day trial…)

As ever, the folks at Semalt don’t say anything much, but this is what they wrote.

Hello, Will Grundy!
My name is Alex and I’m your personal manager.

I would like to tell you how to make your business more profitable using Semalt.

Please, feel free to contact me.


Best regards,
Alex Andrianov
Senior Sales Manager on Semalt

Skype: Alex.Semalt

Me on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

So, as the mail says, feel free to contact him, so I thought I’d send him a message back just to see if we can wean some info out of them and their master plan (probably…possibly…)

I thought that you dear blog readers, would like to see what I sent, and as soon as I receive the reply, I will pop the contents here for you all to enjoy!

Hello Alex, thankyou for your email regarding the very mysterious Semalt.
First of all, what I’d like to say is that when I write this email, I do so not just for me, but for many others in this situation. This is in regards to the suspicious referral locations from your company to our various small blog sites, given with a URL extension of competitors review.
Why have our sites been visited by your company in the first place? Are we being monitered for some bizarre reason? Just what is your companies intent?
I don’t mean to come across as seeming uncouth, nor some kind of conspiracy theorist, but many of our blogging community and beyond have some bad ideas about your intentions and to be frank, think your whole ethos with the seemingly clandestine way you leave hardly any trace of real info about Semalt, really stinks.
Before you think that I still might be interested about whatever subscription services for SEO or whatever, please stop there, to quote from the movies: “These aren’t the droids your looking for…”, which incidentally leads me to the next question.
Many of us out here in blogland and blogtopia have surmised that these extra hits from semalt are actually bots (up to no good is the impression) but please tell me what exactly is causing these hits from your location to our blogs, since you are my business manager (or whatever you call it) and since I was kind enough to sign up to your site to satisfy my morbid curiosity in the first place, I do think I (we) do deserve a proper explanation to why we have all been targeted and regarded as “competitors”.
I mean, I would be extremely flattered to think that my humble weblog would be considered “competition” in the first place, and feel free to butter up my ego as much as you like, providing you give us as much information as you possibly can! I don’t wan’t any apologies, but it would be nice. Just think of it like this. At the moment there is jack about your company available on the web. This leads to a lot of confusion and misinformation about what it is that you lot really do.
now, there’s a hell of a lot of web users, bloggers and webmasters starting to speculate that you are actually some sinister force, spying on us or harvesting data from our sites, and so forth. Indeed you could be the antichrist for all we know! But seriously, this is because of the way you operate coupled with the fact, this is the weird wild web, and that your “webface” is akin to the men in black, or some kind of freaky stalker. Good business practice? All your going to get is a bad reputation your going to get for making people paranoid. Especially as it seems to be many bloggers your pissing off. It’ll all end in tears I tell ya’, so with that in mind, I will say that this email/letter is one that will publically be shared between our community.
So, with that, I guess that your bright enough to at least send me back some “proper official” explanation of what’s transpired, and some basic company details (seriously, I want to see them) and your business mission statement, what it is you exactly offer etc. Plus a reason that why these things aren’t publically available in the first place if you are indeed a real bonafide business, and obviously the competitors review explanation.
Failure to supply the aforementioned info, will just add another nail to the tomb of semalt (trust me, since you started visiting our sites, you’ve just been digging a hole and filling in the foundations!) and that any of you there can’t explain yourselves, and/or be involved in dodgy activities that none of us would want to be involved in.
Think of me as some kind of unofficial legal representative for the blog community, or even better a private detective, no wait….can I be a bounty hunter? I friggin love Dog the bounty hunter, so yeah, think of me as Blog the bounty hunter!! (Ok, so I digress, but us bloggers are just like investigative journalists, it only takes one thing to get viral and youse’ lot will end up covered in little bits of semalt if we don’t get a satisfactory answer.)
Please, get back to me as soon as is possible, like I said, failure to reply will be classed as refusal to comply (refusal+ignorance=guilt) and do no end of damage to your company and individuals involved. If you need to pass this on to someone in your company higher up the chain, if you feel that you are unable to answer it yourself, but rest assured a polite brush off will not deter us from finding out eventually!
Yours quite seriously (putting aside my sarcasm)
PS. Semalt is a crap name. It reminds me of a salt and vinegar type condiment (SEa salt & MALT vinegar) If that was your original intention, that’s fine. It’s still crap though!

I live in hope of a reply, the more entertaining the better in my mind, but I’ll probably be getting a “polite fuck off” to be fair! Any letter or email I write to complain, or similar, tends to end up slightly crazy, but hey, I think it gets my message across!

Also dear fellow affected bloggers, here you have an opportunity to get your side across too, please do send the folks at semalt an email telling them what you think of them, I love the idea that if enough people spam them with complaints they will be forced to show their cards and we will see if they were indeed the evil conspirators we thought, or just a new start up trying to make their way in the interwebs.

Stay tuned for more semalt related fun and games!!

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17 Responses to “Dear….what would you write?”

  1. Steve January 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    I’ve found them on Facebook and Google+ … no more information there, just the same old stuff… I’ve had over 400 hits on one single page from them today… 50 of those in less than 1 minute.


    • grimace73 January 18, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

      Well, they still haven’t replied to my email, so I guess they never will! That is a lot of hits, way more than I have gotten from them, but the way that others are concerned, your not alone.
      Still, however annoying they are, I still think that they are nothing to be concerned about. Check out the press release from PRweb:, still saying that, if your still worried, send them a letter to complain. The more of us that tell them what we think, the better we’d get a bit more info and an explanation!


      • Chris January 19, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

        I added two of their members on Skype and asked if they could remove my site from being visited. They asked for my email but I told them I hadn’t registered so they wouldn’t have it.

        They asked for my site, I didn’t really want to give it to them but then again I didn’t want to keep being visited by them either so took a gamble. Was told they had added measures to stop my site being visited and for the past 2 days I haven’t noticed them on my site.

        I am now getting emails from them daily telling me my ranking positions have either gone up or down. Their Skype accounts say they are US based but the visit that happened seconds after I asked them to remove my site was from the Ukraine.

        I don’t see them as a particular threat, perhaps just using this method to gain new customers, slightly underhand perhaps but at least they respected my request of site removal.

        I gave them a link to your post to show them of the negative press they’re getting to which they thought I was you, perhaps this reply was intended for you :-


        Dear **** (Will Grundy),

        Thanks you for your explicate and frank letter.

        To begin with Semalt ( is not a phishing or spam site, but a professional keyword ranking monitoring service that has nothing to do with CIA, NSA, Snowden, Masonic conspiracy or the World Evil.

        I would like to bring apology on the behalf of our company if you had some troubles using our service.

        I informed them this wasn’t my site and I only linked to it as an example.

        They seemed nice enough about it, perhaps a genuine company using this as a way of gathering new customers? I hope this clears a few more things up.


      • grimace73 January 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

        Thanks Chris, I got a message back from them today of which I’m going to publish for everyone shortly.
        I agree, they seem kosher and above board, and maybe it might stop folks from worrying about the company, of which doe’s actually seem to be just what we thought all along!
        Thanks for your help in getting some kind of resolution!!


  2. atomicgypsy January 31, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    OMG! HAHAHA! “Blog the Bounty Hunter”! hahahaha!


    • Semalt Bloker March 4, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      I think there either have incompetent robot software (i.e. doesn’t comply with robot standards) or it is referrer spam marketing, I think the later, given their target customer is looking at analytic.

      But as their frequent hits blows my analytics on my blogs I cjose to block them. Easy enough in htaccess.

      I detailed it on one of my blogs here if it helps


      • Tom March 6, 2014 at 12:30 am #

        How does forcing visitors to like/share before showing content work for you?


  3. grimace73 March 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by that? Is this pointed at me or the poster above, or in fact at “S”? And exactly who is forcing anyone?
    If you could enlighten me then I’d be grateful. If this is aimed at me, then I can assure you that I try my best to post content, but real commitments in my life are far more important than keeping anyone entertained during their web activity.
    Please forgive me for any impoliteness, but I really have been struggling to even get my images uploaded to the web, even in my professional basis, it’s hard to get by with the limited access and connection I have at the moment, but I’m working on getting that sorted within the next few weeks (fingers crossed)
    If this was in relation to the original post, then I’m not sure what it is your getting at, so please like I said before, indulge me in more of an explanation if you don’t mind!


    • Anon March 15, 2014 at 4:09 am #

      Hey grimace73, Tom was referring to Semalt Blockers post and how it forces you to share before you can read the post. Kind of more shady than semalt in my opinion, not you at all.


      • grimace73 March 15, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

        Ah, I get what you mean now, my apologies for that as I’d not checked out that link (I thought its one that i’d already seen before)
        Sorry Tom and thanks Anon!
        It’s quite probably I was having a bad hair day then too, so forgive me for my bad manners!!


      • Semalt Blocker May 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

        Yes, I do kind of agree that ‘pay with a like’ is pretty naff.

        To answer Tom’s question, “How does forcing visitors to like/share before showing content work for you?”

        The answer is actually pretty effective, lets say in comparison the optional ‘donations’ or show adsense adverts and hoping they get clicked. A large proportion of visitors are actually prepared to ‘pay with a like’ – a lot more than would perhaps pay $0.01 to read more.

        The real question is what is the value of a ‘like’ ?

        Not a lot really, so as it is annoying I have turned it off for a while, to see what impact it has.

        So enjoy the free ride for the time being (the adsense adverts are there to stay I’m afraid, if you don’t like them install an adblocker : )


  4. Kelly Clover December 24, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    It appears that Semalt obtained a bad reputation only quite recently. Less than one month ago I did an inquiry on regarding and nothing bad about them was mentioned. The sitaution has changed but only after I spent $90.99 on Semalt’s SEO services.
    My experience suggested that Semalt was using very artificial methods to bring visitors to the site. I declined the service packages that were costly or required that I allow them access to the administration panel. If I can get them to give good advice on what the front page and other pages of my website should look like as well as what the blogs on social media should look like it may not be a total waste.
    From what I’m hearing, Semalt is committing 2 major sins:

    1. They are using fake visitors to sites and artificially created backlinks to fool the search engines, and thus achieve their goal of bettering search engine rankings.
    2. They are accused of hijacking thousands of websites for this and other purposes.

    Liked by 1 person


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