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Google Analytics: how to find forum referrals

Posted on 20th February 2012 in .  So far there are No comments

You look at your sites stats and see that there is a big spike in visitors, but where have they come from?

If you are using Google Analytics (and if not, why not?) then you can drill down through Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals to get a list of your referrals and how many Visits they have referred.

But which pages on these sites are referring visitors? It's important to know in case the links are not exactly positive.

You click on a referrer and you're faced with this:


All this tells you is that someone on a forum has linked to your site and referrals are coming in. What was the post? You cannot tell, and I find this annoying because I want to know the context of the referral.

After much searching I found a couple of hacks that used to work from within Google Analytics but no longer seem to. The answer, or at least ONE answer, is to use the Google search engine itself using some of its built in features.

All links to my site contain the phrase "nicomorgan" either as or so that is what I will search for but I will also add the "site:" feature to limit the results of Google's search to the referrer in my list, in this case I will use the Chronicle of the Horse website

The search looks like this:


This means: search for the phrase "nicomorgan" on the site and nowhere else.

The results show the individual posts.

Now I just wish I could sort these so the most recent was at the top!

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About Nico

I am an equine photographer, website designer and hosting provider living in Lincolnshire.

I work with clients who are sole traders and others which are FTSE companies. They are equally important to me.

If you need commercial photographyeditorial photography, event photography, lifestyle, equestrian or wedding photography, then I can help you, with over 30 years experience in these areas.

I also teach photography. I mentor photographers with a range of experience, from beginners to working professionals and run an equine photography course which gives members access to articles about the business of equestrian photography.

I have a varied set of skills, having worked for well known web design, SEO and analytics companies in parallel to my photography.

I design, host and maintain websites for clients as varied as farms, interior designers and equestrian centres, as well as for bloggers and sportspeople, including many riders.

I am the Public Relations Officer for the Midlands Area Point-to-Point Association, a role which utilises my PR and social media skills to promote horse racing both online and in the National press.

If you think that I could be the right person to help you, whatever your project, then please get in touch and we can discuss what you need and the ways in which I can help.

You can find out more about me here.

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