enter image description here

I have been ignoring a strange problem on my Google Analytics reports for ages - there are strange legitimate banking or government websites that are showing up as referrals to my site.

These strange referrals bring very small amount of traffic to my site, but it doesn't make any sense because they will never ever link to my website.

These referrals have legitimate referring page urls, they are not porn links or scam pages.

Anyone has any possible explainations on why these strange legitimate sites ended up as my referral?

p/s: Another observation - one government website that shows up as my referral regularly is a legitimate site that is very related to the nature of my site. It is a site that my site visitors will frequently visit as well. But neither I put a link to that gov site nor they put a link to my site.

  • But neither I put a link to that gov site nor they put a link to my site. ...that you are aware of. [wink] Many times, for a question like this, I would suggest that the sites were compromised. While that may be the case, it is possible that there is another common element that you are missing. Perhaps a script that creates links upon criteria? Who knows? I could not even guess from this. It is bizarre for sure. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Oct 26, 2016 at 15:50
  • Thanks for your input. Yes it is really bizarre. I suspect some crappy browsers has some sort of bugs out there, which incorrectly send recently visited/last visited site as referrer. But I cant prove that either. This remains a myth.
    – mkto
    Oct 27, 2016 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


You should check to see if there is any content reference to your site on these gov pages that is NOT HYPERLINKED.

Your site is likely viewed as an authority resource for your content area, and it is distinctly possible that government/bank employees are referencing your site rather than just the general public.

Check to see if any of your traffic is coming from email accounts since this would help explain how your site is a recommended authority site.

  • Hi Robert, sorry but I don't quite get what you mean - how is it possible for those government sites to have content reference to my site without a hyperlink? What is the "reference" you mean?
    – mkto
    Oct 28, 2016 at 17:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.