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What is a reasonable % of unspecified traffic sources?


Level 1

Hi all,


Apologies for a potentially very newbie question. I'm a new business user of Adobe Analytics and just getting to grips with the platform. I'm more of an end user as we have a separate team that develop analytics dashboards etc., but seeking to make sure we're understanding everything we're receiving. 


So onto my question: What is a reasonable % of visits to have 'Unspecified' as a traffic source? 


At the moment, well over 50% of visits are showing as 'Unspecified' traffic source. Is that reasonable? Or does that indicate some sort of issue in the way traffic sources are being tagged? At the moment when I ask the team they tell me that these are just visits from people either typing the URL directly into the address bar, or using a bookmark. I guess I'm just trying to understand whether I need to delve deeper into this issue as we could be missing some huge insights if we should actually be able to define a traffic source for those visits. This is when looking at data over a month old by the way, as I understand in first 72 hours this can sometimes happen.


For context, it's a very large site for a very well known brand - over 1m visits per month for the particular section of the website in question. Traffic comes from the full range of typical owned and paid channels.


Thank you in advance for your help!

0 Replies


Community Advisor
@CarbonCopyCC What "traffic source" are you referring to? I guess you're coming from Google Analytics. Adobe Analytics has various kinds of traffic source reports, e.g. Referrer, Referring Domain, Referring Type, though I think you meant Marketing Channel. Is that correct?


Level 2
"Unspecified" in Adobe basically means that for a particular dimension there was no data captured for it.


Level 2

Unspecified in Adobe basically means for a particular event there was no data captured (so data populated a blank string).


Here a helpful article explaining what it means: 


From what you are saying though if you are looking at Marketing Channel as an example you shouldn't have any unspecified values.  You should ideally have setup the mapping to map people who used bookmarks/typed url in directly to Direct Marketing channel.


However if you are referring to traffic source in the context of Referrer/Referring Domain (or some other traffic classifier that only gets used for non-direct traffic) then you will see unspecified (ie. there wont be a referring domain set if user typed in url directly).


Level 8
Level 8

it depends on the type of your site / campaign, marketing channel, campaign, seasonality, etc.

A website only opened for channel partners, the unspecified / bookmark / type, is over 50%, possible

A marketing / ecommerce site, if it's over 50%, and high bounce% or very specific traffic behavior, you may investigate if there is artificial traffic, unless there is offline campaign without tracking code could be implemented

An end-user after-sales website, most traffic comes from like search engine, social media. if over 50% traffic from Direct / Bookmark / unspecified, you may try to filter Internal Traffic.


So, as long as there is no error on setting tracking code / tagging, then it depends...