Did you know there is actually a fair amount of traffic on the web that is considered untrackable on most websites? This is traffic that comes from the dark web, and typically belongs to people who do not want to be tracked. Marshall Simmonds is an expert on this type of traffic, and how to get a handle on it.
According to Simmonds, you must start at the beginning to figure out where this traffic is coming from, by looking at your direct traffic, which is traffic that ends up at your site with no referral. However, according to Simmonds, there are actually four categories of direct traffic. True direct traffic by people who already know your site, dark mobile, dark search and dark social. Dark mobile comes from things like Android search, which doesn’t provide a referral for sites to track unlike iOS’s Safari browser. In addition, when people send a link from within a messaging app, there is also no way to track that!
Simmonds has some labor intensive solutions for trying to figure out what your dark social and search numbers actually are. In order to find social, he recommends analyzing all of the URLS in your dark traffic. Remove the home page and major landing pages with easy to remember URLs, and what is left is most likely your dark social traffic, mainly because people are not likely to remember a long and complicated URL to type in directly. To find dark search numbers, Simmonds recommends checking your links with your social campaigns, then filter the results to get only new users. That is probably your dark search results.
Of course this is not an exact science but it could help you figure out a bit more about where all of those direct referrals are coming from, instead of wading around in the dark.
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