Google Analytics is tracking my payment gateway conversion as a referral.

This is because we take the user to the payment gateway, eg PayPal, but bring them back to the site for the order confirmation page.

With all the sites we work on this hasn't happened before so very confused. So we get, as conversions, ipg-online.com / referral and paypal.com / referral within our analytics.

Any ideas?


You will want to add PayPal to your referral exclusion list in Google Analytics. Google says that it is exactly what it is meant for:

A common use for this feature is to exclude traffic from a third-party shopping cart to prevent customers from being counted in new session and as a referral when they return to your order confirmation page after checking out on the third-party site.

To do so:

  1. Navigate to a property. If you're not in the settings screen, click Admin.
  2. Click Tracking Info then Referral Exclusion List.
  3. Enter paypal.com
  4. Click Apply to save.

Repeat those steps with others such as ipg-online.com.

  • Thanks I'm aware of this feature. The only question I have is will this completely exclude the entire conversion? i.e. I have 3 conversions from Paypal and 4 from Organic (7 in total). Will excluding Paypal give me a total of 4 conversions?
    – DLM
    Aug 29 '14 at 16:03
  • It will prevent new sessions from starting when they come back from PayPal, so conversions will be attributed correctly to the original source. Aug 29 '14 at 17:41
  • I have this same problem. But for my situation instead of paypal my users are redirected to Google for authentication. When they return the referral counts as "accounts.google.com". I then put accounts.google.com in the list but now the referral are showing up as "(direct)", not the original referrer.
    – M Schenkel
    Oct 10 '14 at 17:32
  • @MSchenkel for that problem, please see How to prevent misattributed goal conversions to Facebook and accounts.google.com in Google Analytics? You can add accounts.google.com to this list, but if you are authenticating users with Facebook, the referral exclusion list won't help you. Oct 10 '14 at 17:35
  • @StephenOstermiller - I read the post. But after adding "accounts.google.com" to the list, it does STOP showing as a referrer. But instead they show as (direct). In otherwords, it loses the original referrer.
    – M Schenkel
    Oct 10 '14 at 17:42

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