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In the past, I've always thought of blank referrals as meaning one of a number of things:
The problem was, you could never understand what the different percentages were. Were most of the users just ones who downloaded privacy software that was blocking everything? Or were they users who were using offline mail readers?
I use ClickTracks for my web analysis, because of its reasonable cost and good user interface. I then export the results to Excel for more interesting analysis. I currently define traffic as PPC if it comes in with a tag (source=) that I apply to all my advertising. The remainder is organic by default.
I analyzed a recent chunk of 100,000 visits, and found a very interesting fact:
If this is true (feel free to disagree) then the percentage of your traffic that's coming directly to you through favorites, email links, etc. is:
%Organics X (%Organicblank - %PPCblank)
Tracking this percentage over time should give insight into the real stickiness of your site.
Does anyone disagree? Does anyone have a higher percentage of blank referrals from their PPC traffic than their organic? That would certainly debunk my analysis.
I just double checked - and yes, I have a log full of 100k clicks, and 60,000 have "-" for the referrer.
The reason that seems high may be due to the nature of the site - there are functions like knowledge base and support where referer may not get recorded.