Null Referrer URL Field

The referrer URL is the URL to the website page where the tracking link is stored. It is typically captured when a consumer clicks a tracking link on an affiliate website. When you run reports in the Reporting Interface, this URL is displayed in the Referrer URL column.

In some instances, the referrer URL field populates with null. This happens when the end user:

  • Entered the link in the browser address bar manually or by copy-pasting it instead of clicking it.
  • Visited the site via a bookmark.
  • Visited the site via a mobile application. Smartphone applications cannot pass information about the referring page to your site analytics. This might result in inflated direct traffic stats.
  • Disabled the ability to pass referral information through their browser.
  • Clicked a link in an external application such as an email, text message, or instant message.
  • Clicked a link in a non-HTML file such as a PDF or Word document.
  • Switched from an https URL to an http URL. Links from https will never send a referrer to an http web page. For most https-to-http requests, the referrer details are blocked.
  • Is using a VPN or firewall that might not be sending referrers.
  • Visited the site through adware, malware, a browser extension, plugins, ad networks, or display ads.

The referrer URL might also be null if you included a script on your website to manipulate or delete referrer URLs. For example, you might be using a meta referrer tag on your site to disallow passing the referrer URL. The meta referrer tag is placed in the <head> section of HTML and controls how browsers send referrer information. <meta name="referrer" content="none"> means the referrer URL will never be passed.

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