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Direct Traffic & SE Traffic Flipped
Seems the two have reversed

 12:01 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

For years my site has always had approximately 92 - 93% of the visitors come from search engines and about 3 - 4% from direct, balance from referal. On Nov 8th or 9th this totally turned around. Now Google Analyticals shows 92 - 93% direct traffic, 3 - 4% from search engines. I thought it might just be a fluke for a day or so but it is still going on. I contacted them about the error and they said that it can be fixed but wanted a $ 300.00 deposit up front. I wrote back explaining that I thought that the program was basically free and have not heard back. Has anyone else had this problem, especially this month? Thanks for your time.




 4:35 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Have you done any updates to the pages recently that may have removed the Google Analytics code for a page that receives a lot of SE traffic? I would check your landing pages report prior to Nov 8 to see which page brought in the most search engine traffic, and then check to make sure the code is still on that page.
If a visitor comes in from a search engine to a page that doesn't have the analytics code on it, and then proceeds elsewhere on your site, they will show as a direct visit.


 6:20 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

You know a quick check does not reveal anything. Nov 7 shows SE 87%, Direct 12% & Other 1%. Nov 8 shows SE 40%, Direct 58% & Other 2% Nov 9 shows SE 11%, Direct 88% & Other 2% Nov 10 shows SE 7% & Direct 93%. Nov 11 shows SE 9% & Direct 91%. You can see why I confused. I will look into it further. Any more ideas? Thanks for the help.



 1:21 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Any changes from your host? Did your server got hijacked and all traffic goes through some strange nodes?

What happens when you access the pages of your site with a referrer from a search via google? Does your IP show up with the right info (referrer, ua etc)?

They asked for $300? Did they also say how to pay them?


 4:32 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, they asked for a credit card up front. $300.00 minimum. Today, this morning 6 visits all 6 are direct. A couple of pages I could see but several of these pages I don't think visitors would ever know the page name for direct access. I will contact my host and see if they can offer a suggestion. Thought Google might help a little, but I'm not even a small fish yet.


 4:48 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fact you have a webserver makes you a target. Just hosting a site actually.

Sorry, I was sarcastic when I mentioned "how to pay them". I am just thinking if it's a hijack it's probably a fishing email.

Search your site in google with the default settings of your browser (make sure you first set the security settings of the browser to the highest level). Then access one of your site's pages. Then goto your GA account and see if the access you just did shows a referrer. And verify it against the server log.

Also the fact you see visits on hidden or non-published pages is highly suspicious.


 5:22 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I will post exactly where I was requested for the payment. It may have been one of Google's "partners" but I contacted them off of a e-mail link on the Analytical help pages, I believe that it said "for help" contact ... I will post that here but it is at home. I found another help link that is suppose to be Google Analytical tech and I will post their reply. THanks.



 5:24 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Please remember that WebmasterWorld's terms of service forbid the posting of emails.

Stick to a paraphrase only.


 5:35 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Today, this morning 6 visits all 6 are direct.

What sort of traffic volume are we talking about here? Thousands of visitors per day? Hundreds? A handful?


 5:40 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Visitors range from 75 to 100 per day. Not a lot but the wierd thing is the complete reversal from years of history over only two days.

I will not post the e-mail just the idea and to who.


 5:34 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google says "traffic changes" thank you for your inquiry. I am lost because the way I see it I would have to have almost everything coming in on one page that the Analytical code has been removed. And that is not the case. I will have to think about this. I have made some changes this month but nothing that I believe would create this big of a change. Thanks for the help.



 8:31 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

These days many firewalls and user settings block referrer information.
What you are seeing might be traffic coming in from a search but the referrer is never passed on from the browser.


Setting this in Firefox is very simple in about:config so a bunch more simply set it not to.

[edited by: eelixduppy at 11:52 pm (utc) on Nov. 22, 2008]
[edit reason] changed URL [/edit]

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