Google Analytics Missing Referral data

The can be a number of reasons that you aren’t seeing referral data in Google Analytics, some of the common reasons are listed below:
  • Referral data could be disabled (i.e: Internet Explorer, which is still widely used).
  • Internet security applications and ad blocking can block referrer data.
  • Firewall and proxy servers can filter out referral data.
  • Users can use spoof data to prevent on site tracking.


HTTPS – HTTP Referrals

If a publishers site is HTTPS (secure encrypted connection) and your site is HTTP (Insecure connection) then you may not see any referrals, this is due to the data being sent from a secure site HTTPS to an insecure HTTP site. Below are the instances when you may not see referrals in Google Analytics:

  • http to http – Referral data sent
  • http to https – Referral data sent
  • https to https – Referral data sent
  • https to http – No referral data sent
Secure websites that link to non-secure websites typically wont send referral data.
What can you do ?
If you are looking to accurately track a campaign, it is imperative that you use a UTM tracking code.
Using a UTM code ensures that you can attribute a referral to a campaign in Google Analytics.
You can find more information about UTM codes here.