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Is the Semrushbot Good or Bad? To Block or Not to Block?

Should I block semrushbot block

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Have you heard about the Semrushbot and wondered what it is exactly?

Especially, if you should block it or not?

Read this post for all details about the Semrushbot:

  • What it is and what data it collects
  • It’s good and bad
  • If you should block Semrushbot
  • How to block it

What is Semrushbot?

The Semrushbot is a tool that analyzes websites and collects data about various aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, content marketing, and more. If you use Semrush as an SEO tool, you can access this data for every website that the Semrushbot analyzes.

Think of it as a smart robot that gathers performance data about your website.

In tech language, Semrush is called a crawler. And it is not the only SEO tool that has it.

Almost all SEO tools including Ahrefs and Moz have their own bots to gather information about websites.

  • What is Semrush
  • What data does the Semrushbot collect?

    Semrush offers over 55 tools and reports about a website related to SEO, content marketing, market research, and advertising.

    Semrush Features

    Some of the most important data it collects are related to:

    Using Semrush’s data, you can create an effective SEO strategy, increase visibility in search results, and drive more traffic to your website. It also makes it easier to understand search intent so you can create relevant content.

    If SEO tools like Semrush did not crawl websites, you wouldn’t get any data about your competitors, for example, to analyze how you can beat them and go to the top of the search results.

    If you want to try out Semrush for yourself, get a free 14-day trial.

    Is the Semrushbot good or bad?

    Semrush is a good bot because, firstly, it gathers detailed data on your own website and of your competitors to help you improve your SEO. Secondly, it does not harm your site. Finally, if you block it from analyzing your website, it will respect your command and not crawl it again.

    Note that it might take the bot up to two weeks to understand this command.

    Semrushbot pro: Offers in-depth and insightful data to help you improve your website performance

    Semrushbot con: In some cases, the Semrushbot might take up much of your website’s bandwidth, which might reduce your site speed a little bit.

    Pro tip:

    Watch out for bad bots pretending to be the Semrushbot but are not. More on this later.

    Should I block Semrushbot?

    You shouldn’t block the Semrushbot if you currently use or plan to use Semrush tools for SEO or any other purposes.

    If you never, ever, want to use it, you can block the Semrushbot from crawling your site.

    Let’s explore this in more detail.

    The role of the Semrushbot is to crawl your website for all SEO and SEM-related data. It does give a lot of information to you about your own website, but this information is accessible to your competitors as well, if they use Semrush.

    So the only reasons to block Semrush is if you don’t want this data made available, or if the Semrush crawls is impacting your website performance.

    1. You can block the Semrushbot if you never want to use Semrush

    If you don’t want to use Semrush to get metrics about your own website, that could be one good reason to block the Semrushbot.

    But note that Semrush stores the data for a long time with its historical data feature.

    So if you block the Semrushbot today because you don’t want to use Semrush, that’s fine. But then if one day you decide to use it, you won’t have access to this data.

    Needless to say, if you are using Semrush for SEO now, please don’t block the Semrushbot!

    2. You can block the Semrushbot to hide your website metrics from competition

    The Semrush crawler works by collecting data on links, and adding it to its huge backlink database (the largest among all SEO tools).

    This data can help your competition to use Semrush to analyze your site and improve their own SEO.

    You can prevent this by blocking the Semrushbot.

    Remember, they can still get data on links by using the bots of other SEO tools though, like the Ahrefsbot.

    3. You can block the Semrush crawler if your site speed gets impacted

    In some cases, if Semrush crawls your site frequently, it may reduce your site speed.

    I haven’t seen a significant impact on any website I have worked with, but it also depends on the size of the website, its configuration, etc.

    If you do feel your site is slowing down because of Semrush, go ahead and disallow the Semrushbot!

    How to block Semrushbot

    So you have decided that you will never use Semrush, even for a 14-day trial?

    Let’s go ahead and see how to block it, then!

    The easiest way to block the Semrushbot is through your robots.txt file.

    Your robots.txt file normally contains just a few lines of text. You can find it by typing your website and robots.txt.

    Here’s my website robots.txt file.

    robots txt

    You can edit it through your SEO plugin on WordPress, like Yoast or Rankmath.

    Block Semrush with robots txt in RankMath

    You can also upload the details in a Notepad file to your website host.

    Now let’s see the different commands you can enter in your robots.txt file to block the Semrushbot.

    First, note that you can block the Semrushbot completely or partially.

    1. Block Semrushbot completely

    If you want to block the Semrushbot completely from crawling your website, enter this in your robots.txt file

    2. Block Semrushbot from crawling your backlinks

    Let’s say you are okay with the bot crawling your site for keywords but not for your backlink analytics. Then enter this command.

    3. Disable Semrushbot from checking on-page SEO

    Semrush also collects data about the on-page SEO for each page. You can block the Semrushbot from crawling this data with this instruction.

    4. Block Semrushbot from getting Site Audit data

    Don’t want Semrush to get data about any technical or other site audit data? This is the command you need.

    5. Block Semrushbot from getting SEO Writing Assistant data

    If you want to disallow the SemrushBot from checking your site for the SWA tool:
    User-agent: SemrushBot-SWA
    Disallow: /

    6. Disallow Semrushbot from getting A/B testing data

    Semrush also collects data that make it easy to do A/ B testing on a website. Want to block it specifically? Write this.

    7. Block Semrushbot from getting data for content outline

    8. Add a crawl delay for the Semrushbot

    If you don’t want to disallow the Sermushbot completely but minimize the site bandwidth it takes up, you can ask it to crawl your site less frequently.
    For example, enter the following command if you want only one URL to be crawled per minute.

    Block Semrushbot with htaccess

    The .htaccess file is a special file that contains instructions to control different aspects of your website. For example, you can use it to make certain pages go to a different location, protect specific parts of your website with a password, or even change the way your website’s URLs look.

    You can also block the Semrushbot with the .htaccess file.

    Add this instruction.

    Pro tip

    If you have an existing Semrush account and want to block the Semrushbot, also disconnect your account from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This will ensure that the Semrushbot does not get access through private website data.

    When do the Semrushbot blocking instructions take effect?

    Once you enter the instructions for disallowing the Semrushbot or disallowing specific user agents, it can take up to 2 weeks for the Semrushbot to stop accessing your site completely.

    How to identify if a crawler is the Semrushbot or a bad bot?

    To identify whether a crawler is the Semrushbot or a potentially harmful bot pretending to be the Semrushbot, you can follow these steps:

    1. Check the user agent

    Look for the user agent string in your website’s server logs or analytics tool. The user agent for Semrushbot is “SemrushBot.” If you see this user agent in the log entries, it indicates that the crawler is from Semrush.

    2. Validate the IP address

    If you notice a lot of crawls by a certain IP address, validate it using a tool like Reverse DNA Lookup. If the IP address contains ‘semrush.com,’ it’s the Semrushbot; otherwise not.

    3. Analyze behavior

    Assess the behavior of the crawler. Semrushbot is designed for SEO and marketing analysis, so it will typically access various pages on your website, including images and CSS files.

    Harmful bots, on the other hand, may exhibit suspicious activities like excessive requests, scanning for vulnerabilities, or attempting unauthorized access.

    Any one of these methods can tell you if a crawler is the Semrushbot or a potentially harmful bot.

    If it seems like a bad bot pretending to be Semrush, block it immediately, or it can damage your site.

    Conclusion on the Semrushbot

    The Semrushbot is a good bot that doesn’t harm your site. Only in some extreme cases it can take up some of your site resources, so you may want to block it.

    On the other hand, Semrush is one of the best SEO tools in the market. If you decide to use it one day in the future and you block it today, you won’t get any historical data to see the growth of your website. So think carefully about the pros and cons before you block the Semrushbot!

    FAQ: Semrushbot

    Yes, Canva Pro is completely free for students and K-12 teachers. It is also free for schools and institutions. 

    Here are some of the IP addresses used by the Semrushbot:

    The Semrush crawls with the bot does not count as visitor traffic in Google Analytics and Search Console, or other SEO tools. It also does not count towards ad views.

    Semrush does not use IP blocks, but user-agents specific to different tools to crawl your website. So it is not possible to block the Semrushbot with IP addresses.

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    Lisa Sicard
    1 year ago

    Thanks, Poulomi for sharing this one. I always wondered about that as I’m using the SEMrush tool these days. I like how you give us suggestions to block only a few things and not the entire crawl. Excellent points, if there is a will, there is probably a way as I always say!

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