Creating a referral exclusion list for session data collection

By default, a referral automatically creates a new session. If a referral source is on the exclusion list, the traffic that comes to your site from the excluded domain doesn’t create a new session. 

Note:If a link connects pages within the same domain (for example, it leads from to the subdomain page, proceeding by this link won't create a new session, instead, the current session will continue.

When collecting session data based on Google Analytics data in OWOX BI Pipeline, you can exclude referral traffic in the Google Analytics interface.

If you use the OWOX BI algorithm to collect session data based on non-sampled hit data, just add the domains you want to exclude to the referral exclusion list right on your pipeline page in OWOX BI.

Important:Your referral exclusion lists in OWOX BI and Google Analytics must be identical, otherwise there may be discrepancies in collected session data.
Find your Google Analytics referral exclusion list by going to: Admin → Property → Tracking infoReferral Exclusion List:image14.png

Why you might need to exclude referrals

For processing payments. If a user needs to process payment using a third-party shopping cart while purchasing products at your site, adding the payment processor's domain to the exclusion list will prevent starting a new session once a user comes back to your site.

For accurate cross-subdomain tracking. If your site users need to move between several subdomains while interacting with your business, add your domain to the exclusion list, so user migration between your subdomains will be happening within a single session always when it should be a single session.

For fighting off referral spam. Referral spam is traffic sent by spam bots hiding behind different domain names and IP addresses. Such traffic is bad for your site metrics and indexing, as it increases the bounce rate and decreases the average session time on your site. Adding suspicious domains to the exclusion list, you'll filter out spam domains and will be able to get the tracking data that's relevant to your business.

How to add domains to the referral exclusion list

1. On your pipeline page, click Change settings:


2. In the Referral exclusion list section, click the edit icon:


3. Type in or paste domain names as Use commas to separate them from one another. These domains won't be tracked as referrals and that won't start new sessions.


Note: The referral exclusion list uses CONTAINS matching. This means all subdomains containing the domain name will not be tracked as referrals. For example, if you exclude the domain, the subdomain will be excluded too.

4. Click Save list. The added domains will appear on the list.

You can delete the domains from the list using the Delete button to the right of the domain name: Domains3eng.png

To apply the deletion, click Save list.

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