The referral exclusion list is only available for properties using Universal Analytics … so please make the jump and take advantage of the benefits!

Let’s find out how excluding referral traffic affects your data and how you can correct some of the wrong attributions of sales.

Refferal exclusion list

By default, a referral automatically triggers a new session. When you exclude a referral source, traffic that arrives to your site from the excluded domain doesn’t trigger a new session.

Because each referral triggers a new session, excluding referrals (or not excluding referrals) affects how sessions are calculated in your account. The same interaction can be counted as either one or two sessions, based on how you treat referrals. For example, a user on my-site.com goes to your-site.com and then returns to my-site.com. If you do not exclude your-site.com as a referring domain, two sessions are counted, one for each arrival at my-site.com. If, however, you exclude referrals from your-site.com, the second arrival to my-site.com does not trigger a new session, and only one session is counted.

Common uses for referral exclusions list in Google Analytics:

  • Third-party payment processors
  • Cross-subdomain tracking

If you add example.com to the list of referral exclusions, traffic from the domain example.com and the subdomain another.example.com are excluded. Traffic from another-example.com is not excluded. Only traffic from the domain entered in the referral exclusions list and any subdomains are excluded. Traffic from domains that only have substring matches are not excluded.

How to add domains in the referral exclusion list:

  1. Sign in to your Gooogle Analytics account.
  2. Click admin in the menu bar at the top of any page.
  3. In the account column, use the drop-down to select the Google Analytics account that contains the property you want to work with.
  4. In the property column, use the drop-down to select a property.
  5. Click tracking info.
  6. Click referral exclusion list.
  7. To add a domain, click +add referral exclusion.
  8. Enter the domain name.
  9. Click create to save.

The referral exclusion list used contains matching. For example, if you enter example.com, then traffic from sales.example.com is also excluded (because the domain name contains example.com).

Need help with these steps? Get in touch with one of our experts and we’d be happy to assist you!

 

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Alexandra

Previously led retail and digital marketing for LEGO Certified Stores and PANDORA. She’s experienced in PPC, affiliate, e-commerce, travel and news websites. She has a Master's degree in economic analysis.

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