I posted on Semalt’s facebook and they deleted my posts. I made another post suggesting that deleting my posts simply confirmed that they were a rogue element.
Then they tried to friend me… I have a rule on Facebook : If I don’t know you and I’ve not met you or had a drink or three with you then don’t expect me to friend you.
So then they sent me a message:
I would like to bring apology on the behalf of our company if our service caused you some troubles.
Our bots have accidently visited your site, as well as the sites of other webmasters. These bots harvest statistics for our service and cause no harm. I don’t think this can be an issue, since nobody complains on bots that belong to Google, Bing and other search engines. There are so many services on the web that are believed to mess up the webmaster’s statistics.
This shows that they have no clue.
I have no problems with Google, Bing and other search engines running over my sites as they help bring traffic to me. Also they obey robots.txt and crawl at a sensible speed and don’t just sit there hammering the home page. Also they clearly identify themselves and come from recognised blocks of IP addresses.
Semalt do NONE of these – they use random IP addresses from all over the world, they don’t obey robots.txt. They don’t clearly idenfify that they are a bot. They don’t crawl my site and they don’t access it at a sensible request rate. On top of all of that they offer me NOTHING of any use – all they do is suck bandwith and give me nothing in return.
I had added a rule to my .htaccess rule to ban them (and I’ve left it in there because I don’t trust them) – but they did accept a list of domains from me and have removed them from their rogue bot.