KnowledgeBase - The home domain and/or no referrer appears in the referrers reports
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The home domain and/or no referrer appears in the referrers reports

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Last modified: 1/1/2011

Situation:
No referrers appear in Top Referring Sites and Top Referring URLs, displaying only the home domain or no referrer at all.

Solution:
A referrer is the site/page that refers a visitor to the site by linking to it. The home domain or IP address will usually appear in the "Top Referring Sites" and "Top Referring URLs" tables within the Webtrends report because only the initial hit to the site will log a URL outside of the site as the referrer. Subsequent hits will log URLs from the home domain as the referrer because the visitor is moving from one page within the home domain.

Examples of how this may happen:
1. A visitor browses to the site and leaves for lunch while the browser is still open on the site. The visitor returns and starts to browse again. Since the user's session timed out before being active on the site again, the referrer will be the page they were on before they left.

2. IP switching - IP switching occurs when a visitor's IP address changes when surfing the web site. As a new IP address appears, Webtrends will treat this as a new session and therefore look for the referrer of the visit which will be the previous page, in this case, one on the home domain. This will only occur when Webtrends' session tracking definition is set to use IP/User Agent.
Note: ISPs use IP switching to load-balance their outbound proxy servers and to combat the growing problem of insufficient IP addresses being available.

"No referrer" will appear in the reports when a referrer is not recorded in the log file.

This is typically due to the following reasons:
1. Visitors accessed the site by typing the URL into the browser.

2. The site is used as the homepage by the visitor.

3. Visitors access the site through a bookmark or favorite.

4. Visitors access the site via a link in an email.

Note: The names of the "Top Referring Sites" and "Top Referring URLs" reports have been changed to "Referring Sites" and "Referring Pages" with the release of Webtrends 7.
 
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