What is Google Referral Traffic

If you use Google Analytics, you should keep an eye on where your web traffic is coming from.  If you click on Traffic, and then under Sources you select All Traffic, you’ll notice a clean breakdown of where all your website traffic is coming from.

Most of it is traffic sources are self-explanatory, such as direct,  bing/organic, google/cpc, or facebook/referral. In a previous blog article I even discussed what “not set” and “not provided” mean. But what about google/referral? What exactly does that mean?

Not all traffic from Google to your website is from organic or paid searches (AdWords). There are many different places that Google referral traffic can come from, including:

  • Google images
  • Google groups
  • Google shopping network (Google Base)
  • Static pages on related Google sites
  • Any Google sub-domains

At first glance, it looks like you cannot drill down any deeper than google/referral. However, if you click on Referrals under Traffic Sources, instead of All Traffic, you’ll see a list of only referral traffic sources. The screen shot to your right shows where to click to see referral traffic from Google. Once you select Referrals and then click on google.com you’ll see all of the individual referrals from Google. Most of the time “/imgres” will show up at the top. This means referral traffic that came from Google image searches.

Now, if someone sets up an iGoogle customized homepage and searches for your website this is actually counted as referral traffic. This would account for the “/” and “/url” results you see in the screen shot to the right.

Google Analytics is a very important tool for managing your website marketing and gauging the effectiveness of your website. If you’re just getting started, make sure you read up on my overview of Google Analytics, which gradually introduces the different elements of the software. If you’re looking to learn more advanced strategies, check out our entire category of articles on Google Analytics.

Please feel free to leave any tips of your own or ask us any questions in the comments section below. Or you can call TRBO directly at 877-673-7096 x2.

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