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So I've got a website with universal analytics that has captured about 15,000 sessions and that will show real time information without any problem.

However, all the Acquisition > All Traffic > Referral information is empty. I know from which websites most of the traffic has come thanks to other tools but I am still trying to figure out how to get that information to appear on analytics.

  • First thing I'd check is the referral exclusion list, but seems like it'd be a bigger issue than that. Maybe try console logging the referrer to see if JS can even detect it? Are you doing any redirecting to a site on your referral exclusion list? Maybe it's higher up the chain than GA? Do you have any find/replace filters? – GreatBlakes Jul 16 '17 at 4:32
  • I've never seen that report without data before. I just checked mine and I'm seeing good data there on several different properties. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 16 '17 at 9:33
  • @GreatBlakes If I type document.referrer in the console it show the referrer. I don't have a referral exclusion list (or at least I didn't create it?) I don't have any filters. I am trying to use GA Debugger tools but it doesn't seem to work – mezod Jul 16 '17 at 14:58
  • Are you using the JS debugger, or the Chrome Extension? I prefer the extension myself. That's the logical next step- see if GA is including the correct referrer in that payload. The parameter is "dr". – GreatBlakes Jul 16 '17 at 15:35
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    i changed the npm pkg for vanilla js and the debugger now shows information, I'll see if it also shows the referrals in the next hours, but it looks like it will, thanks! – mezod Jul 17 '17 at 10:45
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Per our troubleshooting in the comments, this appears to be due to the JavaScript implementation of Google Analytics (as opposed to the typical placement of the provided GA script in the document <head> (as revealed by the lack of output from the GA Debugger).

I'm not familiar with the script provided by Peaks & Pies (linked in the comments above), but I would wager that even if it was working, the data may not be as accurate as simply placing the GA script in the head. Since it needs to wait for JS to call a pageview, I'd be worried about particularly the bounce rate data being slightly lower (since users may leave prior to the pageview even being sent).

Sounds like placing the script in the <head> has worked since the GA Debugger is now outputting data. Might even be worth opening a ticket with Peaks & Pies.

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