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Why is the Referrer Type and Marketing Channels numbers are not tallying


Level 2

Hi Adobe Experts

Was wondering why the numbers between Referrer Type and Marketing channels differ.

We have measuring referral traffic from site www.xyz.com  which is an external domain.

Marketing Channel -> Reffering Domain - > Marketing channel detail number is different from Referrer Type - >Other websites -> Referrning Domain .

Any insights on why its different and as to which number we need to be taking for client reporting would be helpful.


1 Reply


Community Advisor

Referrer Type is a Visit Level attribution.

Marketing Channel is a custom attribution, usually 7 Days or 30 Days (or some other value depending on your needs).


Then of course there is the way you have your Marketing Channels set to process... So aside from the obvious "Search Engines" and "Social Media" having their own Marketing Channel buckets, you may have additional rules like if your campaign contains specific social media designations to add to Social Media Channel, you may also have rules such as splitting your other traffic to "Affiliates" if it contains a campaign, and "Referring Domain" if there is no campaign.


But most likely, it's the attribution that I mentioned... let's look at a simple scenario to illustrate the point:


Day 1 - User comes to the site via "Other Referring Domain"

  • Referrer Type Other / Referring Domain is set (Visit Level)
  • Marketing Channel is funneled to Referring Domain


Day 2 - User comes back directly to the site

  • Referrer Type is set to Typed/Bookmarked (Visit Level)
  • Marketing Channel (with let's say a 7 day retention) will remain as "Referring Domain" (since generally direct traffic is set to not override other Marketing Channels)


Day 10 - User comes back directly to the Site

  • Referrer Type is set to Typed/Bookmarked (Visit Level)
  • Marketing Channel (now past the 7 day retention policy) will now say "Direct"



Both are valid, depending on what attribution you are interested in... Understanding those attributions will help you make informed analysis of your data.



If you have admin rights, you should review your Marketing Channel Setup:

Admin > Report Suites

(Choose Suite)

Edit Settings > General > Marketing Channels > (multiple options to check)


If you don't have access, you should talk to the person who set it up to try and understand those rules.... maybe these rules were set up years ago and you inherited them... it might be worth checking to see if the rules are still valid or need some tweaking.