Both for the purposes of training our models and sharing analytics with customers, we track referrers for individual pageviews, sessions, and users.
Session referrer and user referrer
The session referrer is the referrer to the user's first activity in the given session.
The user referrer is the referrer to the user's first entry to the site.
For the Analytics Panel and RealTime Panel, we display data based on the session referrer.
Referrer type and name classification
We maintain a list of standard referrer names and types. When we examine the referrer URL, we compute
referrerType from the session referrer. The following are the current special values for
|search||All Google pages. Note that traffic from non-search Google domains may be misclassified as search traffic.|
|Bing||search||All Bing pages|
|Yahoo||search||All Yahoo pages. Note that traffic from non-search Yahoo domains may be misclassified as search traffic.|
|goo||search||All goo.ne.jp domains. Relevant for websites that cater to a Japanese audience.|
|Yandex||search||All Yandex domains. Relevant for websites that cater to a Russian audience.|
|Ask||search||All ask.com pages.|
|WebCrawler||search||All webcrawler.com pages.|
|DuckDuckGo||search||All DuckDuckGo pages.|
|social||All Facebook pages. To track app-driven traffic, see our In-app browsing documentation.|
|social||All Twitter pages. To track app-driven traffic, see our In-app browsing documentation.|
|social||All Pinterest pages. This does not capture traffic driven through the Pinterest app, which is where the majority of Pinterest-driven traffic comes from. To track that, see our In-app browsing documentation.|
|social||All Reddit pages.|
|social||All LinkedIn pages.|
|StumbleUpon||social||All StumbleUpon pages.|
|Taboola||sponsored||Taboola's external recirculation unit.|
|Outbrain||sponsored||Outbrain's external recirculation unit.|
|ZergNet||sponsored||ZergNet's external recirculation unit.|
|MGID||sponsored||MGID's external recirculation unit.|
|RevContent||sponsored||RevContent's external recirculation unit.|
|AdBlade||sponsored||AdBlade's external recirculation unit.|
|RadiumOne||sponsored||All qklnk.co traffic.|
In addition to the list above, we maintain a list of "media" referrers which includes standard newspapers and magazines. Any traffic from one of these gets marked with
referrerType media and
referrerName equal to the publication's name.
If you'd like a specific referrer to be tracked (for instance, a search engine, social network, external recirculation unit, or publication) please contact Support with your request. Any addition of referrers only applies to traffic from now onward and does not apply to historical traffic.
Direct and unknown referrerType and referrerName
There are two special values of
referrerType (which also match the associated
direct: This means that there was no referrer for the session start. This could happen if the user copy/pasted a link from somewhere, or directly typed it into the browser. Some HTTPS referrers may mask themselves and appear as direct traffic.
unknown: This means that there was a referrer for the session start, but the referrer did not fit into the classification above.
Places where referrer drilldown can be used
- Analytics Panel: The referrer type can be used as a drilldown for the performance chart, so that you can get CTR and other metrics filtered to a specific referrer type. Referrer name is not available here. There is also a % of pageviews breakdown by referrer type on the top left.
- RealTime Panel: You can drill down by either
referrerNamefor the real-time chart as well as for the top clicked and top viewed data.
- Insights Panel: You can drill down by
referrerNameto filter to activity data based on a specific referrer name.
Sharing referrer data if using the activity API
For the activity API, you can include, in each activity, the following fields:
referrerto denote the referrer that led to the current pageview from which activity is being sent.
sessionReferrerto denote the referrer for the user's current session.
userReferrerto denote the referrer for the user's first entry to the website or app.