As SEOs, it’s our job to drive traffic online by developing strategies informed by data. But what happens when the data doesn’t tell the full story?
If you look at your Google Analytics data, over time, you will probably have noticed a steady increase in direct traffic to your site. Have you ever wondered why this is the case?
The answer: Dark traffic.
What exactly is dark traffic? How does dark traffic affect my site?
The technical explanation of the term is… any traffic that arrives at a site without a referral URL from where the source of the traffic can be traced. In laymen’s terms Google has no idea where the traffic has come from so attributes the sessions to direct traffic.
It is thus interpreted as ‘direct’ as it ostensibly looks like the user has typed in the URL directly, when it’s actually the result of organic search or a social share of some kind.
It comes in many forms, but it’s not as dastardly as its name suggests. In fact, it can be beneficial to both brands and marketers alike if utilised correctly.