Sources | Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: February 11, 2019

Applies to:

Marketing Hub  Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic

Find answers and general information quickly about the sources report in HubSpot.

General FAQs

Filtering data in the sources report

Categorizing contacts and customers in the sources report


How often does the sources report update?

The sources report data updates every 20 minutes.


Why was there a sudden spike in direct traffic in my sources report?

There are several possible causes of a sudden increase in direct traffic in your sources report:

  • Filtered IP addresses were removed or changed. If an internal IP address is removed or internal users are using an IP address that is not currently blocked, direct traffic visits may suddenly increase.
  • Source Tracking is disabled for HubSpot emails. To check this:
    • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
    • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Marketing > Email.
    • Click the Tracking tab.
    • Under Source tracking, make sure the Add source tracking tags to all URLs radio button is selected. Otherwise, HubSpot will not add tracking parameters to links clicked in HubSpot emails and resulting visits will be bucketed as Direct Traffic.
  • Emails were sent from a non-HubSpot email service that does not include tracking on links clicked in the email. Without any source tracking parameters, visits from these emails are bucketed as Direct Traffic.

Learn more about why you are seeing an increase in direct traffic


How do I make a link for my campaign so that it appears in the correct source?

Your HubSpot tracking URL builder can help you generate tracking URLs with specific parameters to ensure that visits are bucketed in the correct source. Learn more about creating a tracking URL.


What does "Unknown keywords (SSL)" mean under Organic Search in the sources report?

In September 2013, Google made a change that encrypts the search results for most of its users. As a result, web analytics packages, such as HubSpot, are no longer able to identify which keywords are generating organic search traffic from websites.

Visits originating from most Google searches are now bucketed under Unknown keywords (SSL) within the sources report.

The same applies when visits are bucketed into the Paid Search (PPC) category. If the visit originates from Google's HTTPS address (such as from users logged into their Chrome browser or other Google apps), HubSpot is not provided the keyword and you will see Unknown keywords (SSL) listed in the PPC category.


Why do I see 'Auto-tagged PPC' and 'Content network (Adsense or other)' in the Paid Search section of the sources report?

  • Auto-tagged PPC: HubSpot is able to detect that the visit was from Paid Search, but was not provided with a parameter for the campaign name.
    • If you are using Google Adwords and have auto-tagging enabled, then HubSpot is not able to determine a value for the campaign from Google's auto-tagged URL. Learn more about separating your paid search visits by campaign when using Adwords
  • Content network (Adsense or other): visit came from a content network or HubSpot was not provided with the paid ad's search term parameter for the visit.
    • This is common when using Adsense, or any type of shared content network, that does not pass the search term in the ad's URL.
    • If you created a tracking URL in HubSpot to bucket visits under Paid Search, the search term may also not be included in the ad's URL.
  • Unknown Keywords SSL: HubSpot recognizes that a search term parameter was contained in the URL, but it was encrypted by the provider before the visit was recorded.
    • Google now encrypts most visits from their search engine and ads which means that the search term parameter is no longer provided to analytics tools, such as HubSpot.


How do I block my visits to my website from being counted by HubSpot?

To prevent your own visits from being counted towards your website analytics, we recommend excluding traffic from your IP address.
  • Search on for your IP address. To block a range of IP addresses, reach out to your IT team to find out the full list of addresses to block.
  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Reports > Tracking Code.
  • Click the Advanced Tracking tab.
  • Add any IP addresses to filter in the IP Addresses to Exclude field and then click Save.

Learn more about IP filtering in HubSpot.


Which domains can I filter by in the sources report?

In the sources report, you can filter your report by the primary domains listed in your domain manager. These are the only domains that will appear in the dropdown menu in the source report. A domain may be set as primary for blog posts, email, landing pages, or website pages depending on your product subscription.


How does filtering by a subdomain in the sources report work?

When you filter the sources report by subdomain, you'll only see contacts whose first session started on that subdomain. The total number of contacts in each of your subdomains will match the total number of contacts when you filter by All domains.


Can I view form submissions from filtered IP addresses in the sources report?

If you select the Include offline sources checkbox in the sources report, then you'll see form submissions submitted from a filtered IP address. When a contact submits a form through a filtered IP, your sources report updates and disregards the sessions. The contact has no sessions and is therefore bucketed under offline sources. The analytics tool doesn't receive data from the original source, but it knows the conversion ID and recognizes it's from a form, so it gets categorized as an offline source.


Can I change a contact's Original source?

A contact’s original source gives you insight into how a contact first interacted with your website. If you're importing your entire contact database, or have accidentally set an incorrect UTM parameter within a tracking URL, you may want to manually change your contact's Original source value.

The Original source property options are not editable, but an individual's Original source value can be manually changed to any of the sources used to bucket traffic in the sources report. You can edit this value on an individual contact record, in bulk on the contacts dashboard, or through a workflowIn addition, you can include Original source values when importing contacts into HubSpot.

At this time, only a contact's Original source value can be manually changed. When you change a contact's Original Source value, the contact's Original source drill-down 1 and Original source drill-down 2 property values will be cleared. These property values cannot be edited, so no new value can be added once the values are cleared. 


Why is a customer not showing up in sources for the month they converted?

  • Customers are reported in the sources report and the marketing dashboard based on the month they first became a contact in HubSpot, not the month in which they were converted from a lead to a customer. For example, if a contact is added in March as a lead and closed as a customer in July, they will appear in the sources report and dashboard for March under the Customer category.
  • This process lets you analyze your customer conversions from a closed-loop marketing perspective--illustrating what traffic sources were most effective at ultimately creating customers during a specific time period--to better focus your marketing efforts.


Why does a contact have an original source of Email Marketing when they have never been sent a marketing email?

There are a few reasons why a contact who has never been sent a marketing email from HubSpot might have an original source of Email Marketing:

  • The contact was forwarded the email from another contact and clicked on a link in the email to first visit your site.
  • Before becoming a contact in your HubSpot contacts database, the contact received the email as a member of a distribution list and clicked on a link in the email to first visit your site. For example, if received one of your marketing emails from the distribution email and clicked a link in the email leading to your site, their Original Source Type property would be Email, even though the email was not sent directly to
  • The contact was sent the email as a different contact with a different email address, clicked on a link in the email to visit your site, and submitted a form using a second email address.
  • The contact clicked on a link from a non-HubSpot email that contained email tracking parameters to first visit your site.


Will deleting contacts remove them from the sources report?

Yes. If you delete a contact, they will be removed from the count of contacts or customers generated by a specific source in the sources report. Learn more about what happens when you delete contacts in HubSpot.


What happens when I change a contact's lifecycle stage back from Customer

By default, the sources report recognizes and calculates customers based on the lifecycle stage of the contacts in your database. If any contacts who were already counted as a customer change to a different lifecycle stage, the sources report calculations for the customer and customer conversion rate reports will update.