Expand my Community achievements bar.

SOLVED

Typed/Bookmarked from Reffering Domain not realistic nor accurate! How to solve?

Avatar

Level 1

Hi, 

 

I've been encountering a significant uptick in traffic labeled as "Bookmarked/Typed" within Adobe Analytics, and it's proving to be quite wrong. I'm seeking guidance on how to make sense of this situation. At the moment, the data seems rather unreliable, which is causing challenges in providing accurate reports to stakeholders and effectively addressing crucial internal projects. I'd greatly appreciate your best recommendations. Having been accustomed to the user-friendly and seamless nature of Google Analytics, I now find myself repeatedly investigating issues with Adobe Analytics. Any insights you could provide would be very helpful!

 

Aliaa_0-1692105854649.png

 

1 Accepted Solution

Avatar

Correct answer by
Community Advisor

"Typed/Bookmarked" is really AA's label for Direct traffic.

The Referring Domain gets its data from the information in document.referrer from the user's browser. Traditionally, the only time when the document.referrer would not be set was when the user typed in the URL directly or opened a bookmark in his browser.

These days, that assumption is invalid. For example, clicking a link from a WhatsApp message will result in the document.referrer not being set too, but that is certainly not via a typed URL nor a browser bookmark. Also, nowadays, server administrators can impose restrictions in their server information such that their URLs never appear in a user's document.referrer.

It could be that you're experiencing an increase in traffic from campaigns, e.g. campaigns that are targeted at users of your mobile apps who are then directed to your website. Try breaking down your "Typed/Bookmarked" row by Tracking Code to see if that yields any clues for you.

You can also try breaking "Typed/Bookmarked" row by Browser, Operating System, and even Country or City to see if there's any pattern that suggests bot-like traffic.

View solution in original post

7 Replies

Avatar

Correct answer by
Community Advisor

"Typed/Bookmarked" is really AA's label for Direct traffic.

The Referring Domain gets its data from the information in document.referrer from the user's browser. Traditionally, the only time when the document.referrer would not be set was when the user typed in the URL directly or opened a bookmark in his browser.

These days, that assumption is invalid. For example, clicking a link from a WhatsApp message will result in the document.referrer not being set too, but that is certainly not via a typed URL nor a browser bookmark. Also, nowadays, server administrators can impose restrictions in their server information such that their URLs never appear in a user's document.referrer.

It could be that you're experiencing an increase in traffic from campaigns, e.g. campaigns that are targeted at users of your mobile apps who are then directed to your website. Try breaking down your "Typed/Bookmarked" row by Tracking Code to see if that yields any clues for you.

You can also try breaking "Typed/Bookmarked" row by Browser, Operating System, and even Country or City to see if there's any pattern that suggests bot-like traffic.

Avatar

Community Advisor

This ^.

 

Unfortunately, if there is no referrer information in the header, there is nothing that Adobe or any analytics service can so to identify where that traffic came from.

 

Whether the traffic is driven from someone opening content direct, from an app (desktop has always had this issue, and some mobile apps are just failing to code in a referrer), or from another website where the "noreferrer" directive has been set; they all result in lack of header information.

 

This is why it's good to work with your partnered websites and apps that are linking to you often to add campaign parameters to the links, so even if there is no referrer, you should be able to identify the traffic from the campaign.

 

Another option, though it requires more effort to set up and monitor, is that some apps that open "webviews" inside of their app actually have a modified User Agent string, appending something like [FB] which will let you know that the page was opening inside the Facebook app... you can set up custom tracking to read these amended values and track this as an extended source of traffic.

Avatar

Level 1

Hi, 

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

1. To start with, could you please explain the process of including referral information in the header?

2. What exactly is meant by the phrase "where the "norefferer" directive has been set"? Additionally, where can this directive be configured?

3. When you refer to campaign parameters, are you talking about Tracking Codes? Could you elaborate on this concept?

4. Is it possible for you to share a link containing this User Agent string? Also, do you have any suggestions on how to go about configuring this?

Avatar

Community Advisor

1. This isn't something that you do.. this is a base function of how the Internet works

 

2. Let's say that I create a link on my site that points to your... I can disable the referrer on my side:

<a href="https://www.yoursite.com" rel="noreferrer">Your Site</a>

 

When someone clicks on the link on my site, and your site opens, the page will not have a referrer, because I told the internet to not share that.... 

 

You can't control that, it's the person linking to you that controls that....

 

https://www.reliablesoft.net/noreferrer-noopener/

 

3. Similar to the above example, if I am a partner with you, or maybe I am a social media site where you are posting content linking to your site. Campaign Parameters can be added to the link, that your tracking can look for specifically and track:

 

<a href="https://www.yoursite.com?cid=mysite_social_paid">Your Site</a>
// or
<a href="https://www.yoursite.com?utm_source=mysite&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=social">Your Site</a>

 

Here is a video about Campaign Tracking that my User Group did last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2w8KjeRkSQ

 

Basically, when those links are opened on your site, you read the cid or the multiple UTMs and track these as part of your campaign data and Marketing Channels.

 

4. There are millions of User Agent Strings.. but here is a Rock Star event I did on this topic:

https://experienceleague.adobe.com/docs/events/the-skill-exchange-recordings/analytics/sept2021/anal...

Start around timestamp 22:58

Avatar

Level 1

Hi, 

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

  1. Could you kindly provide an explanation of what "document.referrer" means, and could you also guide us on how to set it up correctly to prevent situations like these from occurring?

  2. ".. server administrators have the ability to enforce limitations in their server details to ensure that their web addresses never show up in the "document.referrer" of a user." - What is the intended significance of this statement?

  3. When I analyze the "Typed/Bookmarked" category using Tracking Codes, I notice that a significant portion (81.5%) of the traffic falls under the "Unspecified" label. This situation is causing even more confusion.

  4. Yes, I understand. However, the current dataset doesn't provide us with substantial insights. Our primary goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the sources of our website traffic and the specific pages that users are visiting.

Avatar

Community Advisor

@Aliaa wrote:
  1. Could you kindly provide an explanation of what "document.referrer" means, and could you also guide us on how to set it up correctly to prevent situations like these from occurring?


"document.referrer" is automatically set by the browser with the URL of the page that the user was at before the current page.

E.g.

User goes to a 3rd party website that happens to have a link to your website. He clicks that link and ends up at your website's homepage. When the browser loads your website's homepage, it will automatically set "document.referrer" with the URL of that 3rd party website.

Read more about "document.referrer": https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Document/referrer

 


@Aliaa wrote:
  1. ".. server administrators have the ability to enforce limitations in their server details to ensure that their web addresses never show up in the "document.referrer" of a user." - What is the intended significance of this statement?


This is to inform you that this is another reason why document.referrer might not be set, causing Adobe Analytics to fall back to setting "Typed/Bookmarked" as the referrer.

 


@Aliaa wrote:
  1. When I analyze the "Typed/Bookmarked" category using Tracking Codes, I notice that a significant portion (81.5%) of the traffic falls under the "Unspecified" label. This situation is causing even more confusion.


Well, that just means that we can eliminate campaigns as one possible reason for these "Typed/Bookmarked" traffic. Try breaking down by the other dimensions that I had suggested to see if they might indicate bot traffic.

 


@Aliaa wrote:
  1. Yes, I understand. However, the current dataset doesn't provide us with substantial insights. Our primary goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the sources of our website traffic and the specific pages that users are visiting.


Data analysis is difficult. You need to understand a lot of the inner workings of the Internet, web browsers, user behaviour and the analytics tool itself (including how it collects and reports data). Sometimes, the insights aren't immediately obvious, and you need to dig deep into the data using the analytics tool's functions to discover those insights.

Avatar

Community Advisor

Thanks @yuhuisg that is a great answer

 

Basically this isn't something that you can "solve"... it's just how the internet works...

 

Unless of course there is an issue in how @Aliaa is collecting the referrer data... unlike the old days where the referrer was collected automatically, the Referrer must be specified to collect in Adobe Launch. 

 

While there is some data collected, if someone did some weird logic to only collect specific referrer information that might explain why things are looking weird.

 

Jennifer_Dungan_1-1692198170642.png

 

 

You should make sure that your Referrer is set, and that the Data Element doesn't have weird logic in it.

 

My Referrer Data Element is very simple, just using the Core Extension, Page Info

Jennifer_Dungan_2-1692198267738.png