If you own a blog or website and wondering what heck Semalt is, we have the answer for you.
Semalt is a web service tracking site that is using guerrilla tactics to gain a user base… and its working.
Semalt will go to your site, and will in turn show up on sites that are referring traffic to your website. This then gets you curious, and click on their website, and BOOM now they have your information. The site is beyond shady, and I would not trust them with your information.
Noone knows what they actually do, if they do anything at all… Avoid at all costs
~ This Is Tight
The above quote is from a website I found when I was searching for information on Semalt.com. Like many other people, I’d been receiving a load of traffic from this site, and when I checked out their homepage, I was given no information. I either had the choice to login or register, that is all.
I was rather suspicious, and it seems many other people are too. I did register to find out what they do, and it appears that they just offer a way to monitor traffic on your website (for a fee of course.)
What really grated me about how I found them was that they spammed (using bots) my website with fake visits, messing up my stats. I suggest that no-one has anything to do with this shady company. Although my research has shown that they are just (yet) another website monitoring tool, I don’t like how they went about increasing their search engine visibility. Besides, Google offers all the tools you need to monitor your website – for free.
EDIT: Semalt’s method of gaining pageviews on their own site appears to be against Google’s rules as it’s a method of trying to falsify their page ranking. It’s known as a Black Hat technique and is frowned upon. If Semalt pester your website and mess-up your website stats, you can report them for spam here – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreportform?hl=en.
ANOTHER EDIT: It appears that Semalt.com have been deleting all of the negative comments from their Social Media channels. Bad move guys. It’s best to admit mistakes and respond to criticism professionally. They’ve actually blocked me from posting or contacting them via Facebook.
Semalt and the Soundfrost.org Trojan Virus
EDIT: In a sinister turn of events, Semalt has started using a botnet to spam websites, and even have their own Trojan virus to infect computers. See https://www.virustotal.com/en/ip-address/18.104.22.168/information/ for information on (and proof of) the threat. See this other blog post with a detailed look at the threat from Semalt – http://blog.nabble.nl/post/93306955157/semalt-infecting-computers-to-spam-the-web
This is being done through another website belonging to Semalt’s owner. The site is Soundfrost.org, and the programme they offer as a download is the virus.
The owner is spamming the Soundfrost.org link all over the place, people download it and then that’s it, your computer is infected and becomes part of their botnet. Goodness only knows what else this malicious software does.