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Sudden drop in / referral traffic while / organic traffic stays steady

 8:10 pm on Oct 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

This week I've seen a sudden, massive plummet in my traffic coming from google.com/referral. We're down about 60% in just the past few days. What makes this REALLY weird is that there has been no change at all in our google.com/organic traffic.

Aren't the two linked? I thought /referral traffic was things like Google search results being displayed on AOL and so on.

Or am I misunderstanding what google.com/referral traffic is?



 9:04 pm on Oct 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe Penguin 2.1 has affected a lot of your referers...
I also see this.


 10:59 pm on Oct 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am right though in thinking that referrers means sites outside of Google using Google's search data, right?

Like Aol.com search is just Google search results. That's a referrer?

Defining exactly what a google.com/referrer is has always been kinda vague.


 12:19 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

What's your source of information? Anything other than raw logs is subject to interpretation. In particular, analytics programs other than GA may or may not recognize that a bare "www.google.com" (without query) is a search result, not a direct link.


 5:43 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google Analytics, obviously. Anyone using raw logs probably doesn't have a very big site.

Sooo I ask again... What is Google.com/referral traffic?


 8:31 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Traffic that come from links on other sites!


 1:16 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Not all referrals from Google.com domains come through organic search or AdWords ad listings. Referrals may come from a variety of sources, including Google Groups posts, base.google.com listings, or static pages on related Google sites. Such visits are tagged as [referral] instead of [organic] or [cpc]."
--source: Google Analytics

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