One thing I’ve noticed – and had noticed before with this site – is that not all Google referrals equate to search engine traffic.
I use both web logs and Google analytics to keep track of my traffic, but GA is the one I use for drilling-down into data. When looking at referral traffic for Google, I often see “google” sending me a lot of good traffic numbers. Over the past few months, I’ve also noticed an increase in the number of visits from “google.com”.
It could be easy for a site owner to assume that traffic is either from search or Adwords. However, when you take a close look, we see that it’s in fact coming from the Google Reader and the Google Personalized Homepage.
If you’re watching your referrals, don’t take anything at face value. Drilling down into the data always reveals something you didn’t consider.