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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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How are links in PDFs calculated in Google Analytics?

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# 1
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If I have links to my site in my own PDFs, does Google Analytics count those visits as self referrals?

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Re: How are links in PDFs calculated in Google Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi,

It is calculated as direct traffic because Google Analytics cannot determine the referrer.
If you want to track traffic from your PDFs you can use tagged URLs and GA will be able to categorize the traffic based on the URL parameters. You can find the URL builder here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en
Let me know if you have questions.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: How are links in PDFs calculated in Google Analytics?

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# 3
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Gotcha. This makes sense to me now.

So if there are links to my site from a PDF on an external site, GA counts those sessions as direct traffic too?

Re: How are links in PDFs calculated in Google Analytics?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Yes, GA will count them as direct traffic, it is not possible to get the referrer from non-website sources like pdf or word document files.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital