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Learn to identify referral spam traffic, as well as best practices to reduce referral spam in your Google Analytics account
 
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Google organic showing as referral

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# 1
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Hey,


For some reason the medium of organic traffic (validated through google tag assistant recording) is shown as referral even though it is clearly organic. Anyone have an idea how this can be or how to fix it?

 

Thanks,

Magesh

2 Expert replyverified_user

Google organic showing as referral

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

What is the referring source? Is it your own domain? 

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
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Google organic showing as referral

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# 3
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I did  a search in google to our site, but it shows Source as google.co.in and Medium as referral in Google Tag Assistant recordings.

Google organic showing as referral

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hey Magesh, 

 

Have you confirmed Real-Time events as well that the traffic is indeed being tagged as referral traffic? 

 

If so, what is the origin of the referral? Is it a self-referral from your own domain? If so, it may mean one of the following: 

- Not all pages on your website have the Analytics tag placed. 

- You have a sub-domain and for some reason it was not automatically included in a referral exclusion. 

- If you include a 3rd party payer in your site that can change the medium of your traffic. 

 

Let me know if this helps, and if not please send more details! 

 - Josh

Joshua, Top Contributor
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Google organic showing as referral

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# 5
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Hey Joshua,

 

When i check in Real-Time report, it shows as Organic. But only in Google Tag Assistant recordings it shows as Referral. Why is the discrepancy?

 

Thanks,

Magesh

Google organic showing as referral

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star

This may not necessarily be an error. What is the scale of this problem? Has your organic traffic disappeared or changed dramatically? It could be that these referrals are actually from image search, groups or other google properties.

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
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Google organic showing as referral

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# 7
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I can see other sources such as image search or other google properties in referral medium. But why google.com, google.co.uk, google.ca, google.fr in referral reports.

Google organic showing as referral

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@John W may be right, sometimes Google does indeed refer traffic via forums, and other services it offers. 

 

Have you tried looking at your demographics in Analytics to try and understand where your traffic is coming from? Without more information though its hard to say. 

 

 

Joshua, Top Contributor
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Google organic showing as referral

Rising Star
# 9
Rising Star

I'd suggest that this could be groups or maps clicks. What % of your total traffic are these sessions? Have you seen your organic traffic drop or change? Couple of other things to check:

- are you using the latest tracking code? i.e. universal

- are you using adwords? If so, is tagging in place?

 

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
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Google organic showing as referral

Rising Star
# 10
Rising Star

Some interesting stuff here too (though a little dated):

http://searchengineland.com/google-change-may-turn-search-traffic-into-referral-traffic-116085

John Wedderburn, Advertiser Community, Rising Star
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