Analytics & GTM Developer

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Difficulty | and other real referrals in Google Analytics

It's important to exclude unnecessary traffic to keep clean your Analytics, but it is also important to make sure that you are not leaving out valid traffic on the way.

Before filtering out what you may think is junk traffic, always do a little research because you could be excluding valuable data. Below you will find a list of legit referrals that are often mistaken for fake traffic.

List of Valid Referrals

If you want to avoid confusions and be sure your data is clean from irrelevant traffic I recommend you to follow this guide. / referral

These referrals come from Google and they are used when a user with a low-speed connection phone visits any of your pages.

In those cases, the user will see the address followed by the URL of the page. It will also show as a hostname attached to your domain. / referral / referral

Although it is not widely known, is a search engine with some original features and options. referral / referral / referral / referral

These 2 come from google ads program, and it's traffic generated from your AdSense or DoubleClick ads this shows when the destination URLis not correctly tagged.

To fix this check if auto-tagging is enabled in your AdWords account, and that your own campaign variables are labeled correctly.

Different URLs used by Google Ad network:

  • / referral
  • / referral
  • / referral
  • / referral / referral

This is another ad platform run by

  • / referral / referral

  • is a LinkedIn URL shortener something like
  • these referrals are visits coming from the Linkedin app in Android. / referral

Same case, this is a link shortener from Twitter. referral twitter

Twitter uses the domain as part of a service to protect users from harmful activity, to provide value for the developer ecosystem, and as a quality signal for surfacing relevant, interesting Tweets. / referral

Is a search engine that fetches results from Google, Yahoo! and Yandex run by InfoSpace. referral google analytics

Other search engines that can show as a referral:

  • / referral, / referral and / referral is a service that allows you to open multiple URL at the same time. Similar services:

  • / referral

Is an endpoint for a cloud file storage product offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is used by many websites and apps.

Amazon web services referral or / referral

Is an alternate interface of the AOL's search engine

aol referral

What if this referral is still irrelevant to you

As you can see all the referrals in the previous list are legit, however, you may still find some of them irrelevant, in that case you can create a simple filter to exclude them. If you need help for creating this filter you can follow this step by step guide.

Want to improve the quality of your Analytics data even more

Answer the following basic questions:

  1. Do you have filters for ghost and crawler traffic?
    • If yes, Are those filters efficient? (you don't have to create/update them constantly)
  2. Are you blocking good bots?
  3. Are you filtering development and test environments?
  4. Are you filtering internal traffic (traffic generated by you or your team)?
  5. Do you have a clean segment to remove the spam from your historical data?

If any of your answers was NO, then you may be getting junk or irrelevant visits which may corrupt your data. The following article will guide you through everything your Analytics needs to collect not only clean but also meaningful data.


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