We are moving a site from HTTP to HTTPS.

Apart from security one of the reasons we are doing it is so that we can get referrer info in google analytics. 1-2 years ago when many fewer sites where HTTPS we would get lots of referrer info in Google Analytics, but this has dropped off since more sites have moved to HTTPS.

Most of the referrer links form other sites still point to our domain: example.com (without www. or http://)

When our site switches to HTTPS will we get referrer info if the referrer HTTPS site links to example.com rather than https://example.com

If a user goes to example.com will we get the referrer info or will their journey essentially be HTTPS Referral site -> link -> HTTP example.com -> 301 -> HTTPS example.com And if that where the case would the referrer be stripped ?

If that is the case is there some way without asking the referral site to update their link for me to capture the referral info.

1 Answer 1


We took our site SSL-everywhere last fall, with 301 redirects from http to https, and looking at GA's Full Referrer dimension for the past week of traffic I am seeing referrers which link to us using http URLs. We did not do anything specifically aimed at referrer data, so I assume you would likely also see data from http links.

This contradicts the answer to the "related" question Do you get referrer data from HTTPS > HTTP > 301 Redirect > HTTPS site? linked in the sidebar, which says header information will be lost if there is any http along the way from one site to the other. I don't have an explanation for why the referrer information should or shouldn't be preserved, but it does appear to be.

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