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What is your non-search traffic to search traffic ratio?

 3:46 am on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)


For sites that receive at least 5000 visitors per day. What is your non-search to search traffic ratio?

Two of my sites have the ratio 40:60. I have theory that Google has this ratio fixed. Not much non-search traffic means your site is gaming the system.

Please share your ratio here. Only sites that get enough traffic.



 2:17 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is harder to measure today since some your traffic is now showing as "direct traffic" in i0S 6 browser, even though it's search traffic. I used to see 70-80% of traffic coming from Google for most sites we worked with...today, it's much lower.


 2:51 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not much non-search traffic means your site is gaming the system.

Why and how would Google know if one doesn't use WMT?


 3:06 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why and how would Google know if one doesn't use WMT?

@ HuskyPup, I think you meant Google Analytics, not WMT


 3:25 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ HuskyPup, I think you meant Google Analytics, not WMT

Thanks, yep, don't use them, that's why I don't know their names:-)


 6:13 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The Chrome browser should give Google a fairly good representative sample of all traffic, as well as the percentages of different types.

At any rate, I agree with the OP that a high volume of non-search traffic is likely a positive signal for Google, although I doubt if there is any set ratio such as 40-60.


 6:47 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

For me it is the opposite:



 9:15 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

66.4% search
27.9% direct (I'd say the bulk of those would be my forums regulars)
5.7% referral


 9:17 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

61 % Search
39% Direct and Referral


 9:17 pm on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sorry, I don't use analytics a whole lot so dug a little deeper.

Of the search traffic...

82% Google
8% Yahoo
7% Bing

Depressing. I hate Google being so dominant.


 12:37 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Has anyone tried looking at these figures by removing / separating branded searches? For some sites this may show a very different picture.

Although with "keywords not provided" the analysis will be skewed - it is difficult to gauge whether "kw not provided" would distribute proportionally between branded and non-branded searches.


 1:37 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

60% search, 40% other. This changes if I get more mobile visitors on a given day (i.e. those numbers are for when mobile is in the 30% range, when mobile goes to 45% the ratio skews to 55% search, 45% other, with the difference shifting to "direct".

My numbers are too consistent for it to be unregulated, in my opinion. They stay the same regardless of whether I get 25,000 visitors like on Christmas day, or on peak days when I get 150,000 visitors.


 2:35 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

If traffic was controlled the logical area to divert traffic would be to Adwords advertisers. The problem is I have Adwords ads and they aren't generating any sales or hits, so where is the traffic going? Seems like I am generating more traffic from email campaigns but I can't run that often. I would just like Google to implement what they want to implement and then back off and allow us to react to the change. This constant state of flux isn't helping anyone.


 3:27 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Awarn, this is a good point - if they were keeping the ratio constant then as they push down on someone's traffic someone else's traffic would have to go up - and if they're keeping the ratio constant for everyone then it wouldn't be possible without diverting traffic to and from some slack resource such as Adwords. So this makes such capping improbable.

Still, I'm intrigued as to why my ratios are so tight and predictable.


 8:53 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm with ou on the ratio 60-40. Pretty close on all sites. I track everything with google analytics, so that may be the info they are using.


 1:56 pm on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

How much traffic do you get? If your site has gotten like XX million visitors and still very less low non-search, non-brand search traffic, it means people aren't bookmarking your site, probably means the content isn't great enough.

Google ranks those sites better who get a lot of searches for their domain/brand name.


 2:12 pm on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

54% of my traffic was Google last month. Used to be more like 75%. Sigh.

I don't buy into the theory that they use Analytics in their algorithms. But I think it might be a by-product of other algorithms that they use. And also, referral traffic from social media has been growing to offset Google rankings which will have changed the percentages.


 2:45 pm on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I do NOT use Analytics (I use another program) and my search traffic is only 40% of my overall. And I like it like that, because I have some control over my other sources of traffic, but search is a wildcard I don't want to rely on.


 3:14 pm on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of my three sites gets at least 5,000 visitors per day consistently.

Search traffic: 18%
Referral traffic: 60%
Direct traffic: 22%


 11:31 pm on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

my search traffic is only 40% of my overall. And I like it like that

Tell me you wouldn't want to double your search traffic though.


 1:57 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Tell me you wouldn't want to double your search traffic though.

For a revised figure of
:: business with calculator ::
57% search?

Food for thought: What's the breakdown in your own browsing? How many of your daily visits are from bookmarks or referrals as opposed to searches?

And inescapable follow-up: Now set aside the raw numbers. How much online time is spent in each group? Do your direct hits spend more or less time than the search-engine traffic? What about referrals?

If you split it up this way, does traffic to your site match your own browsing behavior?

:: sitting on hands in effort to avoid going into autopilot with "Why or why not?" ::


 2:08 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure I really understand your question Lucy, but hey I'll give it a go.

If I look at my stats, I would just have to say it depends.

Lumping all search traffic together is not a wise choice, because there is huge variation depending on what terms they are coming in on. Some are informational (tends to have lower time on site). Some are transactional (tends to be higher). Direct visits are definitely higher though. And with referrals, it again depends on where they came from - Pinterest traffic is shortlived, Facebook traffic seems quite good for example. Does it match my own behaviour? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Not all my visitors match my persona, so I wouldn't really expect the average to match my behaviour either.


 2:48 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Tell me you wouldn't want to double your search traffic though.

Google traffic has never performed as well on my sites as other sources. This is probably because they have such a big volume of searchers that it's bound to be a more diverse group. Other SEs, referral links and social media links tend to "pre-filter" the traffic, grabbing only eyeballs who are really interested in my content.

Anyhow, there's a consistent pattern: when my Google traffic goes up, my other user metrics go down. So I have mixed feelings about my Google traffic increasing. OTOH, even bad traffic is pretty good, but OTOH good user metrics are important because I sell advertising.


 3:43 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I really dont think you can judge this with any accuracy.
My main site shows 28% direct traffic GA and I was pleased to see this figure steadily rising.
However another site of mine with 20% direct traffic recently had server probs that caused G to be blocked and hence a big fall in rankings. The rankings fall caused a drop in G traffic and the "direct" traffic fell almost as much.
This lead me to believe that the Direct traffic reported in GA is mostly Google traffic without a referrer.


 2:38 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@denisl, agreed, but at least our reports will be consistent unto each other. Not perfect, but a decent estimate on which to base the discussion.

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