Ever since Google revamped their Analytics interface I've been noticing a weird "bug" while viewing the "Real-Time" overview area. From this area I can obviously see live stats of visitors to my website but when I visit my website by opening a new tab (Chrome) and manually visit website the real time stats sometimes look like the image linked below.

enter image description here

Is there any reason why Google is saying that I was referred by Stack Overflow when I'm visiting my website from a new tab? Could this be something do to with how I installed the analytics on my site or could this be an issue with browser cookies?

Have anyone else noticed this?

I am mainly concerned about this because in the standard reporting area of my Analytics panel my referral stats are getting thrown off every time I visit my own website.

  • Did you authenticate on Stackoverflow with your Google account?
    – Anagio
    Jun 28, 2012 at 16:06
  • Yes. I did sign in with my Google account. Why would this change how my analytics appear?
    – localhost
    Jun 28, 2012 at 16:13
  • Not sure, I just figured it could have to do with being logged into Google and Stackoverflow at the same time. Can you see what the Path is from stackoverflow that generated the referral hit. Scroll to the bottom of Analytics and use the old interface to be able to bring up the path
    – Anagio
    Jun 28, 2012 at 18:33
  • The issue isn't with my authorized account connections. I think the issue is only appearing when I'm logged into an account, anywhere online. I tested this theory by logging into an account that I manually created on a small social network then visited my website. The referral is still showing up as if I'm being tracked or my cookies are being monitored even though I'm not logged into my Chrome browser and I have my web history disabled in my Google searches.
    – localhost
    Jun 29, 2012 at 1:15
  • 1
    Just to clarify... You are opening a new tab and typing the website address directly into the address bar? You are not, for instance, right clicking a link and selecting "open in new tab"?!
    – MrWhite
    Aug 19, 2012 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


The cookie stored for the session has Stackoverflow as the referrer. This cookie will be stored until it expires, subsequently, every time you are on your site, Google Analytics will show Stack Overflow as the referrer.

Try clearing your browser cookies and then in the same browser, open a new windows and directly type the URL to your website in the address bar and then check Google Analytics, you should see that the referrer doesn't show as Stack Overflow on that visit from you.

There is no bug with referral traffic in Google Analytics as far as we're aware / have heard.

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