While reviewing Google Analytics for a few websites today, it appears that Google Analytics has a problem with deciding whether or not Google Plus is a website–or if it is a social media website. In Google Analytics, some of the traffic to your site will be reported as a referral, while other traffic, seemingly a random number, will be reported as social traffic.
Let’s take a look at a random site that I have Google Analytics access to, and look at referrals from Google Plus. In this case, I filtered the “All Traffic” down to only plus.google.com:
There were 67 visits to the site from the “website” plus.google.com.
And there were 35 visits to the site from the “social” site plus.google.com.
Shouldn’t these two numbers be combined as one source? After all, it’s the same website, isn’t it? Google Plus is either a social network and reported as “social” traffic, or it’s a referral. I don’t really care, personally, how Google reports this traffic. But it report part of it being social traffic and the other part being a referral, that just doesn’t make sense to me.
Can anyone explain this? I have looked at multiple Google Analytics accounts and this is the case–traffic from Google Plus is reported some of the time as being a referral–and other times it’s reported as being social traffic.