See Why Referral Traffic is NOT a good friend!

Traffic is the main reason why some businesses fail or succeed. Whether offline or online, you need traffic – people moving in and out of your brick and mortar store – that’s traffic! People visiting your blog or website and clicking here and there – that’s traffic !

That’s what brings in business. More targeted traffic, more business. No traffic, no sales! That’s final.

Online, we get traffic from two main sources: SEO and Referral.  See yourself as the blogger who is on the move to online success and you have two friends that are around to help you hit your target – SEO Traffic and Referral Traffic. Both of them are helping you get the comments, engagements, customers and sales, etc.

You have been working to earn their friendship – You write your articles with SEO at heart and today, search engines and pushing traffic to your blog. You are happy with SEO. He’s your good friend.

You are doing a lot of blog comment, guest posting, you are active on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, you’ve got some Youtube videos, and even doing some PPC. Now you are happy with your Referral Traffic. He’s another friend.

Who is a good friend though?

referral trafficMy friend and pro blogger Harleena Singh shows us how to be a good  friend in this article on Aha-now. A good friend will not abandon you when you need him most. He’ll be there when the goings are going and when the lights are off. That’s just one of the qualities of a good friend though. SEO and Referral traffic are your two friends but watch what happens when the goings stop going.

Referral traffic will drop you sooner

Each time you publish a new post, you find yourself rushing to Facebook profiles, fan pages and groups, Google+ communities, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc to post updates. You find yourself doing commenting and guest posting, etc and shortly after, you start getting referral traffic from these sites. You are happy ain’t you? Some of us have automated part of these processes and the traffic keeps coming after every new post.

That’s the wonder of referral traffic. You get instant traffic and quick. Everyone active on social media can always get this traffic. It looks cheap and easy isn’t it? Drop a few nice comments and write a few guest articles. You’ll certainly get visited.

When the goings are not going …

There are many reasons why you may be absent from blogging – vacation, hardware breakdown, health issues, etc.

referral traffic

The goings are not going!

Now, to be honest, this is the moment you need your friends most to keep your online move moving. When you are not able to write an article and hit that ‘Publish’ button. That means no post to social media, no blog commenting, no guest posting, etc. This is when referral traffic tells you bye bye. That’s the moment you need him most to send traffic to your blog. It is at that same moment he runs away. Is this true friendship?

Lisa Buben in this post discusses with some interesting figures the life cycles of social media posts. While the average Facebook post lasts 3 hours, Tweets last for 18 minutes on average. That means you can’t count on them for long term traffic without constant and consistent updates. I recommend you check out that article for more on this.

You see why referral traffic’s friendship is not good?

How long will SEO stand?

That depends on how deep your friendship with him has been. If you have stronger grip on SEO, you may still keep getting traffic from it – that’s if Google does not penguin or panda. SEO can keep bringing in more traffic for a long period than referral traffic while you are inactive.

Make hay while the sun shines

I can’t tell with surety that all will be constantly well. There are surely days ahead when you’ll be unable to create activities on your blog. Pay attention to SEO and the quality of posts you create now. Also build solid relationships with other bloggers who can stand tall and continue your blog while you are away.

Another option is to schedule some post to be published some days ahead. I know not many bloggers do this but some how, it’s important too.

I have a plugin to tweet old post. That too can help if you are active on Twitter

Now let’s talk…

What percentage of your traffic is referral? Have you even been away for weeks and what was your traffic change? Kindly share with us your experiences in the comment box below.

Thanks for also sharing this post on social media and linking to it to give me some referral traffic ;)

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Meet Enstine M. Muki

Enstine M. Muki has written 169 post in this blog.

Full Time blogger and Creator of Check out my blog where I share actionable tips on how to make money blogging.

About Enstine M. Muki

Full Time blogger and Creator of Check out my blog where I share actionable tips on how to make money blogging.


  1. Hey Enstine, another great post here, bro! I was using the Tweet Old Post plugin, but last I heard it’s not being supported anymore, so I switched to Tweetily, which was forked from Tweet Old Post and works in the same way. Thanks for sharing Lisa’s post, I’m on my way there now. Have a great day!
    Tom Jamieson recently posted..8 Simple Steps to SEOMy Profile

  2. Paul Truman says:

    Hi There Enstine,
    I have just started my blog a few months ago, posting something every day. Until vacation and wouldn’t you know my viewership hit bottom. Now I am still in the learning process of blogging so only a few of my post before vacation had been SEO ready. The two that were did bring me some visitors.

    Like you stated, I should have staged some posts to publish while I was on vacation. Now I know for next time.

    Thanks again for sharing and have a great week.
    Paul Truman

    • hi Paul

      Good for you! I see you’re using Blogspot… how does it work for you, and did you consider to look for a blog platform alternative like TypePad or maybe self-hosted WordPress?

      Let’s chat a bit about that… I personally own a small network of 300+ aged domain names and niche blogs, and all my sites are self-hosted WP… if you want to hear more about my strategy and how I make $ online, feel free to check out the PDF report I give away…

      • Paul Truman says:

        John, Thanks for the input. I utilize the Blogspot account to use as my learning platform. I am working on my energy blog on my self hosted WP.
        Thanks again.

    • Hey Paul,
      Good to see you around today and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I’m going to check out your blog right away and do have a splendid week ;)
      Enstine Muki recently posted..Lisa Buben ~ Blogger of the monthMy Profile

  3. Hi Enstine,

    I do agree with you there – referral traffic isn’t all that good a friend (thanks for adding the link – glad you remembered it!), yet most of us rely on it and we do just as you mentioned – run here and there soon after hitting the publish button. Whether it’s on the FB groups, pages, G+ communities, I think ALL of us do share a few of our posts on certain days – I do, and I think that referral traffic has helped me a great deal.

    I know it’s not all that good, but currently I get more of that than the direct or SEO one, though they are all close in line to each other. I’ve yet to work my way out with getting it all through the search engines and SEO, but I’m learning and getting better I’d say

    I agree, such things affect us most when we have to take a few days off or go on a vacation – and I know how that felt when I left for mine! Keeping a few posts up your sleeve is what works best, though not all of us are really able to keep a lot many ready in advance, or unless you schedule guest posts or get in a few additional help and authors to be a part of your blog. Oh yes….the Blogger of the week is a good idea ;)

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Relationship Issues: How to Avoid ThemMy Profile

  4. Susan Neal
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Very interesting, Enstine,

    I don’t check my analytics very often, but I’ve just had a look and about 32% of my traffic is referral, about 42% search engine – not sure whether that’s good or bad!

    I lost a bit of traffic when I didn’t publish a post for a few weeks, but not as much as I’d have thought, though I remained active on social media at that time, which probably helped.

    Susan Neal recently posted..How Often Should You Publish a Blog Post?My Profile

    • Hey Sue,
      Getting more of your traffic from SE is a good position. That can’t be bad. You just have to work hard on maintaining or improving on that. You are on the right track Sue ;)
      Enstine Muki recently posted..Lisa Buben ~ Blogger of the monthMy Profile

      • Debasmita says:

        Hey Enstine…
        This is the first time I visited your blog and your experience in Blogging is really impressing…
        Being new to the blogging world I barely thought about the drawbacks of referral traffic and your post has truly enlightened me…
        Thanks a lot for sharing this!!! :)

  5. Nirmala
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Most of the traffic is organic (SEO) for me and little from referral traffic.

    Previously, I was a beauty blogger and my blog posts were performing well in search engine. After the Panda update, my traffic was down.

    Then I came to know that the bloggers should not depend only on the organic traffic, they should get visitors from other sources too.

    What do you say about this?
    Nirmala recently posted..Best ways to make money on YouTubeMy Profile

  6. raj
    Follow me on Twitter:

    I get very little referral traffic into my blog even though I am quite active on social networks & very regular in leaving links into some other sites. I get almost all of my traffic through search & I can count on it even if I am unavailable for blogging for a week or so. That is the power of SEO traffic. You can make short term plan for getting referral traffic into your blog by using some effective means but that won’t be enough if you are thinking about consistent traffic for long time, you can rely only on SEO for the same.
    raj recently posted..Candy Crush Saga for PC download Free, Candy Crush Saga for Windows7/8/Vista Computer Para PCMy Profile

  7. Ariful Haque
    Follow me on Twitter:

    @Enstine Muki
    thnx bro nice article…my tariff is too low i am commenting, group sharing post bookmarking site but cant increase my visitors…i am too much worried about this…
    Ariful Haque recently posted..How To Submit Blogger Sitemap To Google Webmaster ToolsMy Profile

  8. Ankit
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Hello Enstine Sir,

    It’s true about referral traffic. We have to be active all the time to get continue referral traffic. If we are not active, referral traffic is not going to land on our blog any more.

    Here SEO comes in action that gives us better traffic for long time.

    Wonderful guide and super post title :D
    Ankit recently posted..Promote Your Blog Posts While SleepingMy Profile

  9. Hi Enstine

    Very interesting.
    I am looking into some of the information and shall have to put into practice what you have just posted.

    Mary Stephenson recently posted..Why Men Should Carry Clean HankiesMy Profile

  10. Enstine, you are absolutely right. I have not been paying so much attention to my SEO. But recently I began to think seriously about the need to change some things. Your post actually came at the right time because a lot of us are depending on referral traffic which is transient.

    I am changing the way I do things now and I believe it would bring me more positive results if I am consistent with the new change. Do have a wonderful moment Enstine.
    Efoghor Joseph Ezie recently posted..PageRank Update: Is Google Going to Scrap PageRank?My Profile

  11. Hello Enstine
    I Do Agree with you, Our Best Friend is SEO not Referral Traffic.
    My 80% traffic comes from Search Engine. We should n’t depend upon Referral Traffic.
    You are right when we publish our post only then we can get referral traffic.
    Thanks for Review
    Happy Blogging :D
    Rajesh Jhamb recently posted..Whatsapp with voice messaging features-ReviewMy Profile

  12. Lisa
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Enstine, you had me checking my analytics with this post :) Mine are still mostly organic with Twitter running up right behind it. I haven’t used that plugpin to tweet old posts and have heard about it. I may check it out soon. Thanks for the reminder.
    I was also surprised to see listly in my top 5. Very interesting.
    On the retail website a few months ago I wasn’t showing up in Google at all and all I could say was thank goodness for Pinterest. With the recent Google changes the site is back on Google – it’s been very up and down last month. So many changes!
    So I would agree with you but with the caution not to throw out the referral traffic if your site is hit with the big panda or penquin.
    Have a great day Enstine and thanks for the mention too!
    Lisa recently posted..Blog Burnout – How To Get Over It And When Not To TweetMy Profile

    • He Lisa,
      How are you this weekend?
      Thanks for your comment and contribution. I have been so busy since I returned. Little time to reply to comments but I gradually working up to it.

      Hope you are having a wonderful weekend

  13. Rupak from useful gadgets for
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Hi Enstine! It’s more than a month that I started my blog. My referral traffic is very poor as I don’t get much time to be active on social networks. J get some organic traffic though which is also not that satisfactory. I get very less time out of my college activities to write posts on regular basis. I’m building back links to my blog which is proving to be helpful in driving some traffic. Hope everything gets on the track with time. Appreciable post!!!
    Rupak recently posted..Useful gadgets for students that help to save time and effortMy Profile

  14. Silviu
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Hi Enstine,

    This things are new to me. I am learning. I haven’t understood what referral traffic means. At least , until I read this post. Then I opened Google analytics and watched. It seems that traffic referral is the most important part of the traffic to my site. I guess I need to learn SEO. At least the basics.
    Unfortunately, you are right. I paused writing for about 10 days and there was a big drop in the traffic. Referral traffic.

    “Write a few guest articles – you’ll certainly get visited” WOW ! I do hope you are right because this is what I want to do. Start writing guest posts. Unfortunately, I am in a kind of about to start state. Like a kind of fear of guest posting.

    Have a nice day
    Silviu recently posted..How to Succeed Online when You are Lazy and BoredMy Profile

  15. Pramod
    Follow me on Twitter:

    I agree with you Enstine …Its not always a good idea to depend upon the referral traffic ..Although we can get business leads from referrals ..if a blog wants to earn money through advertisement programs …referral traffic is useless .

    Pramod recently posted..10 Best Android Smartphones under 15000 RS | 10 Best 3G Android Smartphones under 15000 RSMy Profile

  16. Sherman Smith says:

    Hey Enstine,

    This is the one thing I feared when I really started back blogging. Referral traffic is not going to be that helpful and SEO maybe in the long run, but for many of us bloggers we should have a lot of traffic and social proof to begin with.

    The option that I’ve done was schedule blog posts ahead of time and use the plug in tweet old posts. This has been very helpful for me to keep steady traffic. Im actually on vacation right now and it’s been a blessing!

  17. Personally I believe that- referral traffics does not have so much power to give you business conversion. Because, most of them are very familiar with the internet and they like to go to merchant site directly.
    Majharul Hossain recently posted..Alternatives to Google External Keyword ToolMy Profile

  18. Kumar Chandan
    Follow me on Twitter:

    Hi, Enstine,
    Indeed, a great post on types of traffic also great idea to represent Traffic as a friend. Certainly, referral traffic comes very fast and vanish in few minutes. On other hand, SEO is slow but stay for long even if we are in some issue. Thank You for sharing such a nice post.
    Kumar Chandan recently posted..How to use CCleaner effectivelyMy Profile

  19. Ah Enstine, are you speaking from experience?

    Although I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth for any length of time I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one my friend.

    As you’re aware, at the end of July my best friend passed away unexpectedly three days before my birthday. I was devastated to say the least. I wrote my birthday post anyway but I did NOT share it anywhere. I only wrote it because I knew I would be offline for awhile and didn’t want my friends and readers wondering where I was.

    My birthday post was not cheery and I got well over 110 comments on that post alone and once again, I never even shared it in the social platforms. The referral traffic continued to come and so did my loyal readers. As a matter of fact, the following week I wrote about how awesome the support was and even apologized letting them know I would not be visiting their blogs, sharing their content or being active online until I could get through the grieving process.

    I believe it depends on the type of relationships you’ve built online. I harp it over and over again but I can say I’m living proof that even though you may vanish for a short while that doesn’t mean they entirely go away.

    I totally get your point about SEO verses referral traffic but I’ve always said that referral traffic will stick by you where SEO will find your stuff, they “might” buy something but probably never come back again.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Adrienne recently posted..How To Measure Your Blogs SuccessMy Profile

    • Somehow I agree with you Adrienne,

      In my opinion referral traffic from loyal readers is much better and efficient than organic one. It’s important to find the balance between these two.

      When I checked my stats today, well they’re totally out of balance. 63,5% organic and 11,5% referrals. Some bloggers will say I’m not the social guy :) but I’m not really happy with the very low referral traffic.

      Thanks Enstine, appreciate sharing your opinion although we don’t have to agree on this one.
      Dragan Palla recently posted..Fundraising with a Blog? Market and Increase ResultsMy Profile

      • Hey Dragan,

        Thank you for sharing that and I appreciate you agreeing with me from your own perspective. Referral traffic is much more loyal and will come back time and time again plus “refer” you to others as with the meaning of the word itself.

        I believe today and in the future that communities are going to beat out organic in the end because as we all know, organic finds you, gets what they want and are history. You have to keep working at that to keep those numbers consistent with referral you let your friends, readers and loyal customers do the work for us.

        Adrienne recently posted..How To Measure Your Blogs SuccessMy Profile

  20. You cant ignore Referral Traffic and focus only on SEO Traffic. If you ignore Referral Traffic your blog Backlinks and Pagerank will reduce.

  21. According to me Enstine, Website and blogs with no organic traffic is nothing just more than a waste. Organic traffic not only brings new revolution but also sustain the visibilty of blogs and websites.

    Atul Kumar Pandey
    Atul Kumar Pandey recently posted..Do’s and Don’ts for BloggingMy Profile

  22. Jide Ogunsanya says:

    Yes, SEO is really a very good friend. My referral traffic only makes sense when am active online. Although, I automate my referal traffic atimes with ad campaings but that’s not free, you know.

  23. Aqib Shahzad says:

    According to me Enstine, Website and blogs that are not getting organic traffic are just waste of time in blogging field. Organic traffic is always important for the visibility and reputation of blog.

  24. kailash pradhan says:

    Excellent post.Thanks for the nice writing. i feel pretty grateful to have encountered your website page and look forward to some more fabulous minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for everything.

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