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Directory Referral Traffic Mystery

10:28 pm on Sep 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 7, 2014
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GA is showing a lot of traffic coming to a site I'm working on from a news website - problem is, each page allegedly referring traffic has no link to any page on our site.

So, for example, we'll have 20 referrals from KTVA.com; when I drill down, this will typically be a single referral from each of 20 pages on the KTVA domain. When I visit those pages, there is no link.

I've seen this with other clients, especially those who have used local newspaper directories: Massive referrals from some long-forgotten directory. Not only do I doubt anybody's actually using the directory, it often is showing as sending to pages that it is not linked to. It's almost behaving like a sitewide footer link...

I'd love to know what the hell is going on with that - it's been driving me batty for a long time and I'm sure I'm just too young in this game to know the (probably obvious) answer...
4:16 pm on Sept 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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votes: 94

Are there ads on those pages?

Sounds like someone is running paid ads, but not tagging the links properly (so it's recorded as a referral).

Remarketing or programmatic reasons could be why you don't see any ads there aimed at your site.

Does the traffic all land on the same page of your site?