Is Twitter Referring More Traffic Than You Think?

Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land posted today about a topic that’s been tickling my brain the past few weeks: What’s the reason for the discrepancy between the referral traffic from Twitter as calculated by Google Analytics, and the click through data reported by tracking links. I always feel like Bi.tly is providing a much higher number of clicks to sites, than GA is showing, inbound.

Danny explains:

“One key culprit may be that a large number people view web pages using mobile Twitter applications such as Tweetie. Click on a link from a tweet in some of these applications, and they load web pages using their own browsers. Those browser may not run JavaScript. And if JavaScript doesn’t run, then some hosted metrics tools like Google Analytics never realize that your page was viewed.”

A ha! Yet another reason not to put all your analytics eggs in one basket. For many of our clients we’ve been seeing Twitter climb up in the referral traffic rankings, so it’s interesting to think that even those numbers may not be fully capturing the amount of traffic Twitter really pushes to their sites.’s Andrew Cohen provided some additional insights to Danny about why numbers aren’t matching up, and diplomatically says that “ complements rather than replaces JavaScript-based packages like Google Analytics or Chartbeat.”

I definitely recommend cruising over to Search Engine Land to give Danny’s post a read. For more information, check out these links:

Cross Posted from Voce Communications

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