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Can You Help Me Figure Out (direct) (none) Traffic Please?
50% Drop In (direct) (none) has me baffled...

 9:46 pm on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone:

My traffic for the last 30 days had an INCREASE of 30% for google / organic traffic, but a DECREASE of (direct) (none) of 50%.

Overall, the site's traffic is DOWN 20% from last year.

Can anyone help me figure out what that (direct) (none) traffic was?

We don't send out any newsletters.

Don't have a blog with links to our site.

Don't participate in shopping channels / shopping engines

Don't do adwords

Don't have any real facebook presence.


Does it make sense that google organic would be up 30% while (direct) (none) would go down?

Thanks in advance.



 10:18 pm on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

(direct) (none) is often previous visitors coming back via a bookmark or browser history. "Direct" refers to traffic that arrives on a page without evidence of having followed a link or se results. "None" refers to the referring URL.
The same (direct) (none) also can indicate crawlers of one stripe or another. Look at your access logs and see the IPs to know just who it is.

Does it make sense? I don't know that the information is related, you would need to look at a lot of data to say that.


 10:53 pm on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Do you have access to raw logs? Got a nasty feeling I asked that before, but forgot the answer. Analytics is one source of information, but it isn't everything. Cross-check for sources of human visits.

Has there been a significant change in browser distribution? Do any of the more recent browsers have scripting off by default? (Don't know about GA, but if you've got scripting turned off, Piwik can't record anything more than the fact that you exist.) What about handling of the DNT header? This may or may not result in some block of users not being logged at all, depending on analytics program settings.


 11:05 pm on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

thanks for the suggestions, not2easy:

i don't know if this helps, but I see a big drop in the (direct) (none) traffic starting around August 9th, 2013, and another sharp drop around August 28th, 2013.

The strange thing is if I look at A DIFFERENT SITE that was a Penguin victim, I see a drop in (direct) (none) on May 22nd, 2013 (which corresponds with Penguin) and another drop on August 5th through 7th, 2013.

So on Site B, there is a corresponding drop between Goolge Organic visits and (direct) (none), which corresponds with Penguin, but on the original Site A, there is no drop between google organic and (direct) (none), as Site A was not affected by Penguin.


 11:08 pm on Jul 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ lucy24:

"Do you have access to raw logs?"

In theory, yes. I have to figure out hot to access them though. My host doesn't make it easy.

"What about handling of the DNT header? "

I am sorry but I don't know what that means. Can you elaborate?

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