Custom report of Referrer URL

We have created a custom report to see the referrers of pages. We have used the dimensions Page URL and Referrer URL combined with the metrics Visits as shown on the picture.

When I look at the report the first referrer is no url just the - sign, and I wonder what it means? Look at the yellow highlight on the picture below.

What referrer is - with 2479 visits in this example?

Another question:
Our total number of visits one month is 154 861 but when I look at the custom report (mentioned above) the total number of visits with referrer URLs is a lot more, 214 387 visits (see pic below). Why is the visits from referrers larger than the total number of visits to the entire site?

Is our custom report missing something, like a filter? We just want to see the referring URL to pages.

Grateful for your help!

Hi @E111,

Could you please review

Hi @karthik !
Yes, I have looked at the FAQ but my problem is the opposite. In my custom report I get more referrers than the total visits to the entire site.
Do you have any more hints or tips?

HI @E111 ,

Could you please get in touch with our Support team at, we may need more information which can not be discussed in public forum.

Hi again!
OK I will contact the Support team. Thanks for your help so far! :smiley:

After some help from a collegue of mine I think we figured out why the number of referrals are larger than the total number of visits to the entire site.
Not all referrers are counted or registered as visits of the site- they are simply referrers. For exampel search engines and other external pages are not included as visits of the entire site as they are referrers.

Now I only have one question left that I need your help with: what does the - sign mean in the report? It appears as a referrer, but what is it?
Best regards

An idea: Could it be that the “-” sign is standing for the direct traffic? See acquisition reports to compare.

Thanks for your suggestion! Our developers looked into it and they think it is our CMS tool that replaces the title with the - sign in some cases. They will continue to investigate. So there is no problem in Matomo and that is good to know! :slight_smile:

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