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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Google Organic vs. Google Referral

Question #1: I have noticed both "google / organic" and "google.com / referral" in my Google Analytics traffic sources. What is the difference between these two?

First, I am going to give some brief definitions of "organic" and "referral" and then I will explain how it relates to Google.

Organic: a visitor that comes from a free search engine listing
Referral: a link that points to your site from some other site

If they came from "google / organic" they used a keyword search, came across your shop, and subsequently clicked. e.g., if I searched for "hot pink jewelry" on google.com and followed a link to your etsy shop, that traffic would be recorded as "google/organic."

If they came from "google.com / referral" it is more than likely from your Google Base listing. It could also be from another pay service you have on Google's website.

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  1. That's not true. All my organic hits come from paid Google Adwords ads, and they are very expensive. Organic does not me from free search.

    -William @ OptionSpreadStrategies.com

  2. Organic means that they came from an unpaid search engine. Google organic means it comes from Google's search engine.

    Adwords allows your website to be displayed as part of search results as a sponsored link. It should not be showing in your analytics as organic when people click the "sponsored" links.