Google Analytics trick: How to view referring URLs

We use Google Analytics as a stat tool on, and we’re overall satisfied with it. Unfortunately, one crucial feature is hidden and very hard to find. Here is how you find referring URLs and not only the referring websites.

For the last seven weeks I’ve been missing the referring URLs. Just recently, I found out where they put that feature. Referring websites are listed on the frontpage, and gives a 10,000 feet view of which websites that link to us.


The chart gives a good overview af what’s been going on. Information of individual referring pages are stowed away another place. About 12 percent of our traffic come from Technorati. I want to know more details about these referrals. Which keywords generate the traffic? What are people searching for? How does that link to our pages? Here is where to find it:


  1. From the left menu, choose “All reports” > “Marketing Optimization” > “Visitor Segent Performance” > “Referring Source”
  2. On this page are the referring websites. Well, default view is only the top ten referring websites. To see all of them, I change the dropdown to 100, which is enough for our website.
  3. The arrow nex to each website on the list is a hidden menu. Choose “Cross Segment Performance”, and whoaa, another menu appears.
  4. Choose “Content” to bring up our destination: Finally a list of referring URL’s from a website. referring URLs for Technorati December 2005

The list is really interesting. It shows a very few keywords with more than a few hits. 55 visitors arrived from Technorati via 41 different pages/searches. To see full list of keywords, click image above. Of 41 keywords, only “ajax” and “bookmarklet” generate more than two clicks. Considering the relatively small number of visitors on our blog, this generates a long tail of keywords. We see that the “popular” keywords (“ajax” and “bookmarklet”) only generates a fraction of the visits, the most of our visitors arrive via unpopular, unpredictable keywords.
(I will not go into detail about it here. See Jared Spool blog post and Wired article for more on the Long Tail of web economy — very interesting).

In the next couple of days we’ll post more on

  • what Google Analytics could improve, and
  • our monthly statisticss from Google Analytics

While you’re waiting for the December statistics, here’s a link to the previous November 2005 Statistics.

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