What is direct traffic, and what are its sources?


Webtrends Analytics 8.x
Webtrends Analytics 9.x


In reports based on the referrer field of the log files (i.e., Referring Site, Referring Domain, Referring Page), “Direct Traffic” often appears among the top-ranked entries. Direct traffic is defined as visitor traffic to the web site from which there was no previously visited site. An entry in a web log for the opening of session originating as direct traffic would list a hyphen (-) in the cs-referer field, indicating the absence of this value.

Direct Traffic results when visitors start a session by clicking on a link in an e-mail or some other source, such as a bookmark, that opens a new browser tab or window. It also originates with visitors who manually enter the URL in the address bar of the browser. In either case, the new session lacks a history and is not referred but considered direct traffic to the site.