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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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Website that no longer exists is still showing up in Referral traffic after 6 month

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

I'm trying to figure out a referral source issue for a client of mine. Apparently last fall they setup a microsite for a PPC campaign they ran. That PPC microsite was taken down in October 2015 when the campaign ended, yet for some reason it still shows up on a monthly basis in their Referral traffic report.

 

The microsite is not indexed and there wasn't a redirect setup. Any idea why this would be happening?

 

Do I just block it via htaccess? Or simply filter it out in Google Analytics?

 

Thanks!

Re: Website that no longer exists is still showing up in Referral traffic after 6 month

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I'd recommend doing a "whois" lookup on the url of the microsite. Often, even when cancelled, a domain remains active for months afterwords. So it is possible the domain's still hanging around and getting traffic.

If it is still hanging around, I'd recommend simply going onto the servers where that site is hosted and delete the files so it is at least now just a blank page if that's a major concern. If you do have a dormant "ghost" site lingering on I'd definitely recommend cleaning it up as abandoned sites are a favorite target of hackers to use to spread their malware around.

Re: Website that no longer exists is still showing up in Referral traffic after 6 month

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey Trevor,

 

1) Was there a link from (microsite) to (main site)?
2) and, were they both on different domain or subdomain?

In that case, it could be that some users followed a link from (microsite) to (main site), and now these users are directly visiting the (main site). But since:

  • campaign timeout is by default 6 months,
  • AND, direct visit never overrides previous campaign source 

repeat visit from such users continue to be clubbed under (microsite) / (referral) for next 6 months, unless they re-visit the site from a new campaign source. and I guess [*somebody can confirm this pls.*] each visit extends campaign expiration time further 6 more months

 

Have a look at this https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565 for more clarification! I guess only solution is - wait few days / weeks and the impact in your reports will be minimal with passing time.

 

 Cheers!

 

/Vibhor