I have a site (site A) which used to get allot of traffic from a 3rd party site industry niche portal website (site B), both sites used to be HTTP. Traffic was viewable as referral traffic in Google analytics for site A.

Site B implemented HTTPS, and shortly after i implemented HTTPS on site A, via Lets Encrypt.

Site B has a management dashboard where i can see supposed clicks through to site A. But when i look in Google Analytics for Site A, there is no referral traffic from Site B.

The link on Site B to Site A is using the HTTPS url.

Site B dose not seem to be passing the traffic through a 3rd party tracking URL. The outgoing link is as follows :

<a href="https://www.site-a.com/" compid="Profile_Website" target="_blank" class="proWebsiteLink" data-trackinglink="https://www.site-b.com/trk/aHR9sbGlkZXNpZ28udWsv/2b8e469e409a9f/c5c9bc2ef49cabd5" rel="nofollow"> <span class="pro-contact-website-icon icon-font icon-website_mobile_v1 mrs"></span> <span class="pro-contact-website-text">Website</span> </a>

Any ideas why i cant see the referral traffic in Google Analytics ?

  • 1
    "data-trackinglink" - JavaScript would seem to be intercepting the click, so make sure that JavaScript is not changing the link in some way.
    – MrWhite
    Jan 27, 2019 at 13:17
  • ...again, you can check that by monitoring the network traffic in the browser.
    – MrWhite
    Jan 27, 2019 at 13:29
  • Did you updated GA settings to https:// ? Also check your filters Jan 28, 2019 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


It sounds like site B may have implemented a same-origin (or no-referrer) Referrer-Policy which affects the HTTP Referer header that browsers send with all outgoing links (in compliant browsers).

With a same-origin (or no-referrer) policy then no Referer header will be sent by the browser when following a link from Site B to Site A, so GA will not be able to report on this. Every link will look like a direct request.


UPDATE: Also check your server access logs to make sure there are no (or very few) logged Referer showing Site B.

  • Ive checked the HTML for the outgoing link and added it to the question above, what would be the simplest way for me to check the HTTP headers ?
    – sam
    Jan 27, 2019 at 12:57
  • 1
    You can check the HTTP headers in the browser. eg. Chrome's "inspect" (Ctrl+Shift+I) and select the Network tab.
    – MrWhite
    Jan 27, 2019 at 13:14
  • Have you managed to get anywhere validating this? What do you see yourself in the network traffic when navigating from Site B to Site A? Is there a Referer header present? What does it contain?
    – MrWhite
    Feb 1, 2019 at 22:31

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