Everyone knows that browsers don’t always report where visitors came from when they arrive at a website. When they don’t report where they were in the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) referrer header, often the traffic is considered “Direct” — which really means, “we have no clue where they came from, maybe they typed the URL in or hit a bookmark.”
There are legitimate reasons why browsers shouldn’t report where they have come from. The HTTP technical spec (RFC 2616) says when traversing from an HTTPS site to an HTTP site, a browser should not report where it was. And users can set privacy settings that instruct their browsers never to report this at all.
In testing with default browser settings, we’ve found differences based on whether you perform a search at Google directly vs. in a browser’s search box, or based up which version of an operating system you are running. Getting a referrer is unreliable, which means organic traffic measurements are unreliable.
But all this has been known for some time. What hasn’t been known — and what is the bane of all SEOs fighting for budget — is that we know some percent of Direct is really Organic, but we don’t know how much. Until now.
This Article is courtesy of https://searchengineland.com/60-direct-traffic-actually-seo-195415