direct acces

As you may be aware, the direct traffic source gathers together visits to your website with no JavaScript referrer.

Most of us know that there is no referrer whenever visitors type a website URL directly into a browser or use a bookmark to visit a website.

However, many people seem to be unaware of other cases:

1.       Traffic comes from an email that has been opened in a piece of email software such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, etc.
Note:  Whenever a visitor uses webmail (online email system) to visit a site, we consider the webmail as being the visit source.

2.       The link to your site is in a Flash piece such as Flash banners or full-Flash websites.

3.       The link to your site uses JavaScript. This includes all JavaScript codes that open your site in a new browser window (or a new tab) or any kind of JavaScript redirections. Many adservers, affiliate programs or shopping guides use JavaScript redirections.
Note:  There is no problem with 301 permanent server-side redirection.

4.       Your own landing page redirects to another page via a JavaScript redirection (e.g. redirects to . We provide you with a JavaScript code to get around the problem.

5.       Traffic originates from an RSS feed which is read in an RSS application such as Feedreader, RSSOwl, etc.

6.       Traffic originates from a link in a document: Word, PDF, Excel, etc.

7.       Traffic originates from a secure page (https protocol), whilst your page is not a secure one (http protocol).

The above list should not scare you! We provide you with solutions to correctly identify the traffic sources.

Using marketing campaigns and the xtor parameter in your URLs will ensure that you only have accurate visit sources. Please find below a list of some of the campaigns which you should use in the examples listed above:

  • Email campaigns (xtor=ES-xxx, xtor=EREC-xxx ou xtor=EPR-xxx)
  • Advertisements (xtor=AD-xxx)
  • Affiliations (xtor=AL-xxx)
  • RSS Feeds (xtor=RSS-xxx)

As a result, only real direct traffic will be considered as direct traffic.







Head of Client Success – Generaleads Benoit has a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Bordeaux and 10 years of web analytics experience developed while at AT Internet. In early 2015, Benoit joined the Google AdWords specialist agency GENERALEADS as Head of Client Success. In parallel, he’s working on the start-up GetLandy, the first landing page creation tool designed for traffic managers.


  1. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  2. on the case #7. So if I perform a search on google while logged in (which is https) and then clicked on one result going to my page(http only) then the traffic will be registered to direct traffic?

  3. Benoit Arson


    Thanks for your question.
    You’re right to ask this question.
    It would be the case if you directly access from Google’s https URL to websites.
    But there is a redirection between the page of results and the landing page. Google redirects people to a non-https URL and then you access to websites. In the URL of the redirection page, Google gives us the information that people come from Google.
    So, if you perform a search on google while logged in and then clicked on one result going to your http page then the traffic will be registered as coming from Google and with no information about the keyword you searched ( “not-provided” keyword or [-] on our solution).

    For further informations, you can read this article in our blog .