One of my clients has a website and got not spammy backlinks in a Wikipedia article.

When I test it for SEO purposes with Google Analytics (from different IPs), apparently there is no referral information. On the Real-Time view my test visit is visible but with There is no data for this view in the referrals subview. And this visits appear as (direct) / (none) on the Traffic sources view.

Wikipedia is not hiding in any way its links origin, since it is shown in the server visits log. Is Google ignoring Wikipedia as a referral? Am I missing anything else?

Update: Now it works, several days after the link was active. Maybe something is detecting for how long the link was there so that it doesn't work just from the beginning, as a security measure? Many visits are actually not recorded.

  • 1
    Do you have access to the direct server logs? This will tell you if wikipedia sent a referer URL or not. Aug 15, 2013 at 13:02
  • Also, did you access the site from Wikipedia's website or through something like a mobile app? Apps do not pass referer info and show up as direct traffic. Aug 15, 2013 at 13:17
  • To add, are you logged into Wiki? is the URL HTTPS? Aug 15, 2013 at 13:40
  • @joshuahedlund Yes, I just saw the latest visitors log in CPanel and wikipedia url is shown as a referrer. I'll edit my question, thanks. I access from a regular computer browser, not an app.
    – Rober
    Aug 15, 2013 at 17:28
  • 1
    @Rober If you consider this question resolved, please try to add an answer below and accept it when you can - thanks.
    – dan
    Dec 3, 2013 at 8:50

2 Answers 2


For future reference. If you are using Universal Google Analytics then you can use Channel Grouping to add a specific referrer to a specific channel. You can also add things to channels based on medium and etc. Very useful.

This setting is under Admin -> Channel Setting


As of 2015 wikipedia uses https for all connections

To ensure that Wikipedia users can share in the world’s knowledge more securely, the Wikimedia Foundation is implementing HTTPS, to encrypt all traffic on Wikimedia sites. http://blog.wikimedia.org/2015/06/12/securing-wikimedia-sites-with-https/

Linking from secure connections to non-https sites will prevent the referrer from being transmitted.

A user agent MUST NOT send a Referer header field in an unsecured HTTP request if the referring page was received with a secure protocol. See Section 9.4 for additional security considerations.


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