Let's say a site adds a link to my site. After that, I noticed an increase in visits to my site (and I'm sure that at least some people came to my site via this link). The problem is, when I look at my google analytics stats, I can't find the site in the traffic sources (referrals).

Any ideas on why? I don't think the website in question is messing with the HTTP_REFERER.

  • It felt strange when I posted it here ^^, but I'm so used to stackoverflow... Can moderators move it? Otherwise I'll just delete it.
    – Robin
    Feb 15, 2012 at 1:44
  • No problem. The moderators will migrate it for you shortly (I'll flag it for their attention), and you won't have to retype it. :)
    – Ken White
    Feb 15, 2012 at 1:47

1 Answer 1


There's only 2 ways I know of that can cause this, but both require that the site "linking to you" doesn't actually link to you (not directly at least):

  1. They link to another domain that's doing a JavaScript redirect.
  2. They're linking to an out page that's doing a meta refresh redirect.

In the first case, it's the second domain that will show up in your analytics/logs. In the second case, it will look like direct traffic.

Also, even if the page source looks like they're direct links, they could be using JavaScript to change the links onclick like Google does in order to track outbound traffic.

  • I'll ask the guy if they're tracking outbound traffic and changing the link on click. Thanks.
    – Robin
    Feb 15, 2012 at 19:00

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