Traffic from Google Search App showing in website analytics

Over the past few weeks we’ve noticed an increasing number of visits to websites at use our website analytics service, along with visitors to websites that use Google Analytics, showing up with a referring website (referrer) of “” – while this may seem a bit cryptic it’s not spam or other suspicious traffic and is in fact shown for visitors coming to your website from Google’s Android Search App.

The clue is in the (cryptic) referrer address

If you take a look at the first two words of the referrer address, you will see that it’s written backward. As you can see it also shows up in the URL of the Google Play page for the Google Search app for Android:

Will this continue?

The short answer is, we don’t know. There’s been no official Google announcement about this (that we can find!) but, as confirmed by this post over at WebmasterWorld, it doesn’t seem to be an isolated incident and has been ramping up since later April (based on our own analytics data for sites we host).

We’re working on updating our analytics reports to show these visitors as coming from Google Search rather than as a referrer (which usually indicates the visitor came via a website rather than through search). We’ll post an update when we’ve reclassified traffic and the new reports are available via Client Connect for O’Brien Media customers.