Referral exclusions

There is still no solution and still no info from Matomo, how to solve this simple issue (simple option to save the first ref.)

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Hi @bmo - did you find a resolution to this?

We are now experiencing the same issue,


Thanks for the input everyone. Could someone create a GitHub issue about this?

We’d be keen to look into this but we need to understand the problem / use case better and be great to hear how we could help.

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You “need to understand the problem”? :smiley:

Paymentgateways delete the origin referrer, there needs to be a option: “only save the first referrer”

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Hi Thomas

Thanks for picking this up! I think Przemyslaw’s post above (Referral exclusions - #11 by Mepherotus) outlines the issue sufficiently. The resolution suggested by Matomo in this article does not really address the underlying issue - it merely recategorizes the referrer from “website” to “direct entry”, which in reality isn’t the true referrer for the user’s visit.

Here is an example of what is happening.

  1. User clicks on an email link to visit the website.
  2. User browses website and adds items to basket (at this stage referrer is “Email campaign”)
  3. User completes the order but the website redirects to 3rd party payment provider (paypal/amazon etc)
  4. User returns to website (but now the referrer for the visit is reset from “Email campaign” to “website” or if you have set the referrer exclusions it will be set to “direct entry”. What we need is for it to remain as “Email Campaign”.

As a result we are over attributing the channel “direct entry” greatly (40% vs 15% on GA).

Please let me know if you need any further information.


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Is it the same as


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Thanks for this. I think I get it now.

I guess it’s not really excluding that referrer but more like “ignore that referrer” as excluding that referrer in Matomo would mean we wouldn’t track that request at all when they return to your site.

I think it should be possible to implement this as long as this happens in the same visit (within 30 minutes). What would we do if this didn’t happen within 30 minutes? Then we wouldn’t have the original referrer likely. Would we track a direct visit or use the referrer from the payment provider?

I have created and scheduled this feature for now.


Why not just a simple option: save first referrer?

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This issue is picking up a bit of traction in github but could someone recreate the issue for Matthieu to demonstrate how this happening?


Many thanks!

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There’s some confusion here.

Matomo does indeed save the first referrer for a visit. Most of the cases users have described in this thread will not be attributed by Matomo as direct entry.

Thanks Genest - I agree there is some confusion, but it seems something is not working as it is intended.

In my case personal experience, I can confidently say the “direct entry” attribution is far too high using all of the Matomo attribution techniques.

Here is a monthly view

Here is a yearly view

Here is a segmented yearly view for new visitors (I wouldn’t expect new users to be showing such high direct entries)

Therefore I’m fairly certain something is not attributing correctly, whether it’s us the users (it seems there are many users as above having similar issues) who have not understood so something or whether Matomo tracking is not attributing as it should in some cases I’m not sure - any suggestions are welcome.

Here is another example - this time of intra-website campaign links - overriding the first referrer (tile & carousel are mediums used to track links within the website)