What exactly is "Direct" traffic?

Direct Traffic can be one of many things. Here are a few possibilities:

  1. Clicking a link from an email (depending on email provider/program)

  2. Clicking a link from a Microsoft Office or PDF document

  3. Accessing the site from a shortened URL (depending on the URL shortener)

  4. Clicking a link from a Mobile social media apps like Facebook or Twitter (mobile apps often do not pass referrer information)

  5. Going to a non-secure (http) site from a link on a secure (https) site, as the secure site won't pass a referrer to the non-secure site. For instance, if someone clicks a link on https://example.com to go to http://example2.com, the analytics for example2.com will show the session as direct.

  6. Accessing a site from organic search, in some instances, will end up being reported as Direct due to browser issues.
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