UPDATE – Nov. 19, 2014 It appears that the code to block Sem Alt (provided below) does not work 100%, and may work on one website while does not work on the other. On Adsense Success we haven’t seen traces of semalt in at least last 90 days, but using same code on our another website, we still see semalt as a referrer.

So here is a “brute force” solution for the problem: block the whole IP address for semalt from accessing your website. To find their IP, just ping the domain such as shown in the image below:


Use the following .HTACCESS command to block Semalt’s IP address:

Order allow,deny
# Deny from
Deny from
Allow from all

The above command blocks not only the actual Semalt IP, but also the network that it originates from. Note – this is not guaranteed to work, as semalt uses CDN and dynamic DNS, but let’s try it out.

UPDATE – July 23, 2014: It appears that the “htaccess” way to BLOCK sem-alt does not always work, so we’ve provided two additional way to block their bot – see at the bottom, when code is provided.

It appears that sem-alt bot can sometimes bypass (ignore) HTACCESS and Robots.txt on your server. So if you know of ANY GOOD WAY to block them, post it in the comments below – we all want a good working solution!

Original Story: SEMALT Creates Invalid AdSense Clicks

In March 2014 I noticed that my I would get $25-40+ in earnings reversed by AdSense automatically, EACH day for almost two weeks in a row! Thats is $350-560 that I lost due to “invalid click” or something along those lines!

I’ve never had that much money taken away for bad clicks – on average it could be $0-3 and not even every day. But never $30 or even $40 in one day.

My AdSense rollbacks corresponded with semalt “visiting” my sites, day-for-day. As soon as I blocked semalt, AdSense rollbacks STOPPED! 

I got really concerned, because if that trend continued I could easily lose my AdSense account, which I definitely did not want to happen. So I started digging, and in my Google Analytics console, I noticed a strange, new “referrer” site – SEMALT (.com) – I’ve had my site(s) for a while and never saw this referrer – so I went there, and see that it is a “professional webmaster analytics tool”.

So I thought my competitors are using it to research my site. But then I started seeing this same referrer on most of my other sites that are not related to each other – this is VERY suspicious. I began reading about semalt and found very negative feed back.  Now this is not competitive research, as myc sites are in different niches.

My AdSense rollbacks corresponded with semalt “visiting” my sites, day-for-day. As soon as I blocked semalt, AdSense rollbacks STOPPED!

Last – I never had problem with click-bombing – these were pure chargebacks that were massive and unexplained.

So here is what I figured out, after doing more research and blocking semalt from entering my sites (using HTACCESS) – semalt is based in Kiev, Ukraine (a former Soviet Union republic known for hackers and credit card fraud, etc.) Apparently they also have an office in Florida (according to their site).

What the hell is Semalt?

My thoughts are that semalt is an automated bot that visits your site and shows cached pages to some random people who knows where, and these people CLICK your ads, generating invalid clicks! Alternatively, their system does the clicking… or something else.

Regardless, my data shows that when semalt “traffic” started coming in, I started having massive rollbacks in my AdSense account. After I blocked them, rollbacks returned to normal one or two dollars / day.

How to block SEMALT using HTACCESS

So here is how you can block semalt. I found a method where you modify your HTACCESS file, by adding 4 lines of code, that tells your server to block all traffic from semalt .com

NOTE: Be very careful modifying HTACCESS – if you screw something up, your site will stop working! ALWAYS BACKUP .htaccess file before doing any changes.

If you run WordPress, us can use WP Htaccess Editor (link). If you want to manually modify the file, use Notepad ++ on Windows or Komodo for Mac or text editor of your choice.

Here is the CODE you need to add to your .htaccess file

Option #1)

# block visitors referred from semalt.com
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt\.com [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Option #2) – added on July 23, 2014

# allow all except those indicated here
<Files *>
order allow,deny
allow from all
deny from .*semalt\.com.*

Option #3) – added on July 23, 2014

SetEnvIfNoCase Via evil-spam-proxy spammer=yes
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer evil-spam-domain.com spammer=yes
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer evil-spam-keyword spammer=yes
SetEnvIfNoCase Via pinappleproxy spammer=yes
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer semalt.com spammer=yes
SetEnvIfNoCase Referer poker spammer=yes
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
Deny from env=spammer

END OF CODE – Hopefully, these can stop the dreaded bot!

Once again, be careful making these modifications, and ALWAYS BACKUP your content and HTACCESS file!

Let me know what your experience with semalt is in the comments below!


  1. Semalt’s “office” in florida is just a virtual office, like a PO box, which they use to appear legit. They are all in the Ukraine. And Semalt is not just annoying but criminal. They are using a botnet of hijacked computers to referral spam. Warning: do not download soundfrost.exe it’s a trojan:
    https ://www.virustotal.com/en/ip-address/

    adparad @gmail.com is linked to both domains, Yuriy Yakovenko, Semalt CEO, is all over the net pushing his trojan soundfrost.exe. Same with (Andrew aka Andreas aka Andrey aka Andy) Timchenko


  2. Yes, Semalt crawler bots visit website and gather statistical data for Semalt service simulating real user behavior. BUT they DON’T click on advertising banners (cpc, cpa, cpm systems) or extend links. No need to look for some hidden motive when your website was visited by bots. All the visits are automatic and random, this bots acts exactly like bots of Google, Bing and other search engines.

    • NO you use a botnet to spam. You are not collecting data. And your botnet does not obey robots.txt. Google and Bing own their distributed networks. You steal the use of other’s computers with malware and then steal our bandwith.

      • Maybe you have no idea about how our service works. I can assure you that all bots’ visits are random and have no hidden motives.
        Moreover, we offer users a tool to stop the visits of our bots: (URL REMOVED)
        Anyway, Semalt bots are visiting sites with one purpose – to collect web analytics data for our service. They do no harm.
        Nobody’s looking for hidden motives of Google or Bing bots. So there’s no need to worry about Semalt bots.

        Policy of Semalt Company is transparent, you can find all the necessary information and contacts on the site (URL REMOVED) or blog (URL REMOVED). Also everyone can contact our managers and ask any questions.
        Therefore, all charges should be considered as false. This is just pure slander.

        • Nataliya,

          This site is not a platform for you to advertise your company. Our data shows that your company is directly associated with MASSIVE AMOUNT OF INVALID CLICKS on AdSense ads, and once your bot was blocked, invalid clicks virtually disappeared.

          It is NOT our job as webmasters to beg you to stop messing our visitor statistics and creating invalid clicks (which creates risks for publishers to lose their AdSense accounts). If your bot was in fact a bot and behaved like one, all this negative publicity about you would not exists.

          I agree that you chose a clever way to advertise by SPAMMING analytics reports with your name, to make webmasters sign up for your “service”, but it is a dishonest way.

          Therefore, spam your propaganda somewhere else.

        • Nataliya, you are a liar and a criminal. you and i both know semalt uses a botnet, an illegal network of virus-infected computers that send spam. the owners of infected computers usually never know the PC has been compromised. more often than not these days, those infected computers are in India, Brazil and other developing countries where users cannot afford virus protection.

          you screw up our site stats, ignore robots.txt, infect PCs with trojans and spread your garbage spam forcing others to clean up after you. it’s no understatement to say you are scum.

          • Cheers KILLTHESPAM – I completely agree with you.

            Stupid bot now crawls THIS site, as I never had HTACCESS mods added here 🙂 … until now!

  3. must read RT @nabble_nl Here’s proof that @SoundFrostorg is the spambot used by @SemaltCom http://blog.nabble.nl/post/93306955157/semalt-infecting-computers-to-spam-the-web

  4. Hello people,

    Semalt is an RUSSIAN criminal network, it belongs to the Russian Secret Services and operates from the Netherlands, Ukraine, USA, Brazil etc.

    Don’t click semalt links!! Semald CEO is a CRIMINAL!
    We need to report this gang to the Police!

  5. This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!|

  6. Looks like they are sending out legal threats now to try remove this type of information

    • sending legal threats to whom? And remove what information?

      Sem alt is a Ukrainian analytics spam boiler room… i’d just ignore legal threats from them … especially that I’ve gotten legal threats before … most of the time it’s just a baseless threat, that won’t carry any water.

      I had cease and desist letters form $700/hr law firm in Manhattan … meh, it was nonsense



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *