What does the Referrals measure in the Search Phrases report mean?


Webtrends Analytics 9.x
Webtrends Analytics 8.x


The default Search Phrases report displays the measure “Referrals” but it is unclear of what this is an indicator. Similarly, a custom Search Phrases report is created and “Visits” is used as a measure but the values of the “Visits” measure are inconsistent with the values for “Referrals” in the default report.


The “Referrals” measure shows how many times the Search Phrase in question appeared in the Referrer field of the log file, thereby differing from Visits and Page Views.


  1. A visitor arrives at a web site from a search for a particular phrase on Google.
  2. The visitor refreshes the page on which they landed.
  3. The visitor views ten other pages on the site.
  4. The visitor wants to return to the page on which they started. Instead of using the Back button in the browser, they return to Google and search for the same phrase they originally used to find the site.

Webtrends’ reports will display the following activity for this visitor:

  • One visit – This occurred in the same session, despite the diversion back to Google.
  • 13 page views – The first hit to the landing page, the refresh, the ten successive pages on the site and the return to the original page from Google.
  • Three referrals – The first referral from the initial hit, the refresh counts as the second (as the “cs-referer” value will display the previous referrer when refreshed) and Google is again the referrer in step 4.