What is Dark Traffic?

What is Dark Traffic?

A large percentage of online publishers and marketers know where their web traffic comes from, whether it be direct from a search engine, accessed from a Facebook post or perhaps they were linked from an Advert. But what about the small percentage of traffic whose entry methods are unidentifiable? Welcome to the world of dark traffic.


What causes Dark Traffic?


Dark traffic is caused by users using under the radar methods to share a website link, for example using messaging or chat apps such as via email or WhatsApp. Apps like WhatsApp encrypt messages for privacy reasons, therefore activity cannot be tracked. As well as apps, secure websites do not track link activity. Secure websites are those that use the secure standard in their HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTPS://). In addition to secure websites, Internet users are becoming more aware of online privacy and many people have started to use secure search engines such as ‘duck duck go’.


Dark traffic data has grown in recent times due to the rise in mobile traffic and the use of encrypted chat apps such as WhatsApp. This spike has vexed web publishers, as they like to offer their advertisers quality data about their audience. 15% of web traffic does not have a referrer, and as mobile usage grows, audience insight declines.


So how can you get around this major issue?


The answer is you cant. Instead, online publishers are adapting to making educated guesses as to where large amounts of their dark traffic comes from. For example, The Guardian noticed a surge in traffic after one story became a hit on Reddit. When they looked at their mobile-only traffic, it turned out that most of the traffic was dark traffic. This meant they suspected the traffic was coming from a mobile app in which the Reddit link became popular.


By observing and understanding how content becomes viral and the sources users access your content from plays an important part of understanding dark traffic. Online publishers are now checking for spikes in traffic coming from sources such as Reddit and Facebook, knowing these sites are accountable for a large percentage of their dark traffic.


But is dark traffic a bad thing? No. Dark traffic is still traffic.

Dark traffic also entails that your readers have gone out of their way to share your content with their friends through private means, which increases the value of your content. Users are also more likely to then discuss the link or content they have shared with the recipient.


At Your Creative Sauce, we embrace dark traffic. Share this post via WhatsApp, we don’t mind!




What is Facebook Live?

Facebook’s ‘Live’ Feature now available to use


Back in August 2015, Facebook introduced ‘Live’, a live broadcasting feature similar to ‘Periscope’.

The feature was originally only available to use on ‘Facebook Mentions’, Facebook’s App for celebrities and other public figures. As of today, general users can now use ‘Live’ on the Facebook iOS app. The feature now appears within the ‘Update Status’ menu next to the ‘Check-in’ pin that allows you to share your location. Your live stream appears in your timeline and users can also subscribe to your stream, meaning that they get a notification when you’re live. Once you’ve finished with your live stream you’re also given the option to save your video and publish it to your timeline.


Once you’re streaming live, viewers can comment in real time, allowing you to be able to respond to comments live.

‘Live’ is the perfect solution for famous people to host Live Q&A’s with the general public, but it should be interesting to see how your average user interacts with the new feature amongst friends.
How do you predict Facebook users will interact with ‘Live’? Let us know in the comments below.