Q: Data Robot, in one of your first posts, you defined organic traffic, could you do the same thing for referral traffic?

A: To answer this question I am going to give two different definitions, one from eHow and one for a visual person. Finally I will take an example from Google Analytics and explain it.

eHow Definition:

“Referral traffic is used to describe visitors to your site that come from direct links on other websites rather than directly or from search engines.”

Visual Person Definition:

To the right you will see an image of stepping stones. For the visual person, just view referral traffic as being stepping stones. There are over 360 Million websites on the planet view all of those as a different stepping stone. These websites or stones are linked together in many different ways. This is one of the factors that Google looks at when ranking sites. Good links or stepping stone paths are built to be used, so when a person clicks on a link and is sent to another site, i.e. moves from one stone to another this is considered referral traffic. One site refers traffic to another site.


Below is a screenshot of referral traffic from IHG’s microsites. There are 25 examples of referral traffic on this report screenshot. To explain it I highlighted 4 different examples. The one highlighted in yellow (ihgplc.com) is referral traffic coming from IHG’s corporate career site. Check it out here, at the bottom of the page there are links to all of IHG”s .JOBS Microsites. The one highlighted in pink is from IHG-Hotel.jobs. This is referral traffic coming from the links found within the featured sites area of the microsites. The one in orange is from Hotel.jobs. On the billboard homepage there is a link to IHG’s microsites. Finally the purple example shows Facebook.com. This is referral traffic coming from people who are sharing jobs on Facebook via the social media widget. The sharing of pages on the site to Facebook is sending referral traffic back to the site.

One more interesting fact thought is that within this post there are 4 avenues for referral traffic to happen. This blog post has the ability to refer traffic to eHow, IHG’s Corporate Career Site, IHG’s Microsites, and Facebook.


Seth Flater
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