Light vs Dark Direct Traffic
- A worker texting another co-worker about a show he would like to attend
- A group of friends on a group email chain sharing sports websites
- A wife sending a link to new clothes on What's App or Facebook Messenger
New Age Sharing (Dark Direct Traffic)
- Mobile and Chat Apps: Mobile and Chat apps allow for sharing of URLs and links detached from the paid hosting sites (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn..etc). Because these apps have the ability to launch browser instances in-app or force a new browser session it appears as though this is direct traffic. Most web tracking tools cannot make this distinction and as such this traffic gets bucketed into generic Direct traffic
- Email: Similar to apps, URLs are widely spread and shared embedded in emails. When a user clicks a link most email-providers (for security reasons) launch a new browser instance/session to the URL. This appears as direct traffic and only some web tracking tools can make this distinction which causes (in most cases) this to be bucketed into generic Direct traffic.
- Secure browsing: If a user is browsing a site using HTTPS (for security reasons) a referrer will not be passed. This gives the appearance that the user is directly navigating to the URL.
Ways To Track
- Simply Measured
- Segment traffic based on "external" direct traffic sources that do not pass referrers (ex:mobile chat apps)
- Segment traffic based on really long URLs. Any URL over 40 characters was unlikely typed in