No Referring Link – Explained

Hi folks,

“Came From” Stats

Your StatCounter “Came From” stats provide you with information about how people are coming to your site.
camefrom

In your “Came From” stats you will see a list of sites via which visitors come to your site. These sites which refer visitors to your site might be forums, blogs, search engines, directories or websites of any kind that provide links to your site. You may also see entries for “No Referring Link” – we’ll explain what this means in this post.

Indirect and Direct Visitors

Visitors to your website can arrive in two distinct ways. For example:

A Vistor Can Arrive at your site INDIRECTLY by:

  • Clicking though to your website from a Search Engine
  • Following a link to your site on a blog
  • Clicking a link in a forum where someone recommends your site

OR a Visitor Can Arrive at your site DIRECTLY by:

  • Typing your web address directly into their browser address bar
  • Clicking a bookmarked link to your site in their browser


Indirect Visitors

If a visitor arrives at your site via a search engine, the visitor has been referred to your site by the search engine therefore you will see a referring link from the search engine in your stats.

referring_url

In other words, you will only see a referring link in your stats, if a visitor has been referred to your site by another website, blog, forum or search engine.

Direct Visitors

If a visitor arrives at your site by typing your website address directly into their browser, the visitor has NOT been referred to your site by any other site, therefore you will see a “No Referring Link” entry in your StatCounter stats.

referring_url2

In other words, if a vistor comes to your site directly (i.e. without being referred to your site by any other site), then there is no referring link for that visitor.

No Referring Link – what’s the significance?

There are a number of reasons why you could have a high proportion of “No Referring Link” entries in your stats. For example:

  • People may get to know your web address offline (e.g. in flyers or newspapers) so they simply go directly to your site rather than looking for your site in a search engine.
  • You may have a lot of returning visitors who have bookmarked your site so that they can quickly revisit it.

As usual, comments, questions and suggestions welcome!

UPDATE:
To ensure that all referring links are captured, you should make sure that you have StatCounter code installed on all pages of your site. It is not sufficient to have StatCounter installed on your homepage only. This is because visitors may enter your site at any page not just your homepage.

118 comments on “No Referring Link – Explained

  1. Can a visitor be from ‘no referring’ link but also have came from search engine traffic? I found it weird because on some sites where it is it mainly search engine driven and certainly almost not word of mouth (the niche) I still do get loads of non-referring visitors

  2. I don’t wish to nitpick, but one of my sites is hosted on a server to which I have direct log access. I believe I’ve seen “no referrer” while at the same time the log file shows a referring URL.

    I remember distinctly thinking to myself “that’s odd” and then forgot about it (until I read this).

  3. Don’t forget, if someone is using some NoScript oder Referer-Hider, even Statcounter can’t count them. And it’s MANY people using it as I can see in my web server statistics.

    December, my web server stats said: 45k
    Statcounter reported for december: 22k

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