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All Traffic Sources – google analytics

July 2nd, 2012 by Edward

If you look at “Sources->all traffic” in google analytics you will often see something like this. Here’s what the various “Descriptions” mean – this is really useful when you start drilling down to find out things like “What key terms did visitors use” and so on.

analytics chart showing sources

Google/organic is pretty obvious – its the line hat tells you how many unique visitors you had to your site that arrived there after searching in google. Ditto for Yahoo.

Direct traffic includes people who have:

  • Typed your URL into their browser’s address bar.
  • Your website bookmarked on their browser’s bookmarks bar.
  • Clicked on links in documents or emails.
  • Come from sites that do not create a live hyperlink to your website, but rather just have an inactive link that has to be copied and pasted.
  • Security settings preventing referring URL’s to pass through to another website.

Referral – this is links from other websites – pretty straight forward – so what is This is a link from a google domain (in this case .com) that hasn’t come from a search – eg could be a google group, or a forum etc etc

So number 6 means that 13 visitors arrived from the site If you drill down into the data you’ll see they all landed on the homepage – reason to suspect that has a link to the homepage of this site!


Edward owns and runs ee-web design and has been building websites for over 12 years. He is passionate about... most things really

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