1

In Google Analytics I have thousands of landing pages reported, however on checking some of them they aren't indexed in Google, this is expected as the have robots NOINDEX tag in the source code.

So my question is, how are they being reported as organic traffic landing pages (From Google /organic) when they aren't indexed and I'm pretty sure they have never been indexed.

2

Answer is simple. User had started with google (new session) then left your website and came back directly (or other non-tagged source) to non-indexed page. Session (from google / organic) was continued and user landed on non-indexed page, but GA still counts that as organic traffic.

Direct traffic, however, never updates or replaces an existing campaign source such as a search engine, referring site, or campaign-tagged information.

from: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565?hl=en

  • Maybe I get the "session" concept wrong, but a each session should only have one landing page. So if you leave a site (session started with google/organic) and come back later (via direct traffic) - to the same session - no new landing page should be set. – Seb May 28 '15 at 10:39
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It could also count your own visits (or other developers/users) while you investigate/test the site, unless you have explicitly blocked yours/their IP from loading GA.

I have seen plenty of people (especially when checking their Google indexed pages) do a Google search and click a few links to navigate around their own site. If you do that and can't find the page in SERPs, then type the URL directly...well, you can see the answers above.

  • We have set it so our IP range isn't tracked, thanks any way! – Max Jan 6 '15 at 7:40
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One possibility is that you have Universal Analytics installed and have a "Sign in with Google" button your your site.

When a user signs in and comes back to that page, Universal Analytics sees the external referrer from Google and starts a new session that it thinks is organic.

To combat this, I had my "Sign in with Google" functionality use meta refresh redirects to send the user back to the page they were one. Meta refresh redirects don't pass the external referrer in any browser that I've tested. They either don't pass a referrer, or use your own site as the referrer.

  • We don't have a sign in with Google, put thanks for the tip. – Max Jan 6 '15 at 7:44

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