6 Reasons Your Referrer Data is Empty

6 Reasons Your Referrer Data is Empty

If you know where your audience comes from, you can determine which source is the most popular among the visitors. Based on your conclusions, you can then build a strong marketing strategy.

The basic value to start with is the referrer. It shows on which website a visitor has clicked your link. Unfortunately, we don't need to rely solely on the referrer traffic as it can let us down.


The natural question is why. The referrer is tracked as an HTTP header field that determines the address of a webpage from which a visitor came. The referrer header shows an address of a web page from which a user was redirected. If a visitor goes from page 1 to page 2, then the URL of page 1 will be displayed in the header of page 2.

Reasons Why Analytical Reports Hide Referrers

  • The SSL certified page (https) won't pass data about the referrer to an insecure page (http).
  • Mobile apps don't send information about a source.
  • An enabled option forbids passing a referrer. A website owner can manually activate it.
  • PDF or Word-embedded links won't be shown as referrers.
  • URLs that go from an email, messengers, or SMS will not pass referrers.
  • Manually typed or pasted URLs won't send the data about the referrer.

How to Track Referrers

The best solution on how to determine the source of a click is to use campaign tracking. Campaign tracking is a UTM parameter that you specify for every short URL to know from where visitors are coming. With tags like 'source,' 'medium,' and 'campaign,' you mark every link and track its success via Google Analytics.

Tracking UTM parameters is possible not only via Google Analytics but also via any analytical service.

6 Ways to Use UTM-Tags to Track Traffic


What if I don't want to customize the third-party app?

If you don't want to make additional settings, Short.io provides UTM parameters. You can specify tags straight on the Short.io. Tracking tags are available in several ways, such as via clickstream or domain statistics. Short.io provides UTM parameters on the free plan.


With correct tag settings and tracking, you are on the way to an in-depth analysis of your customers' journey.

Start Using Campaign Tracking on Short.io

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What did you learn?

  • black referrer
  • how to track direct referrer
  • Google Analytics referrers

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