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How to blank referrers?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by thecashbag, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. thecashbag

    thecashbag Newbie

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    Hello,

    I've been promoting some affiliate programs through email.

    I have a bit.ly link which points to a website I own, and that gets redirected to the affiliate offer.

    Will the redirection through my website stop my affiliate network knowing where my traffic is coming from? If no, what is the best way to stop them knowing?

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  2. RedLable

    RedLable Regular Member

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    What sort of redirect code are you using for the redirect to your aff offer? htacces, java, php, https, form, mixed? is it a single redirect or a double redirect, is there a second or two delay between jumps if double?

    Test it on a receiving php page like this:
     
  3. thecashbag

    thecashbag Newbie

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    Hey redLable,

    Its a 302 redirect created by a nulled version of Easy Redirect Script (hxxp://easyredirectscript.c0m/).

    Its seems to just go straight through. Did not notice any delay.

    Not sure what you mean by single or double redirect. The redirection goes like this: Bitly link > my site > offer.

    I tried your php page. It showed nothing. What i did was this bitly > my site > my other site with your php file. It came up with a blank page. So does that mean I'm safe?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. artificial_genius

    artificial_genius Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is actually a pretty complicated answer as to how to truly do this. It also depends on if you are ok with most of your referrers being hidden, or if you need all of them to be hidden.


    The first thing you did (regardless of how you answered that original question) is a double meta refresh.

    So you link to "yourpage.php" which has the following meta code:
    Code:
    <?phpecho "<meta http-equiv=\"refresh\" content=\"0;url=http://www.yoursite.com/page2.php\">";
    ?>
    Then on "page2.php" you have the following:
    Code:
    <?php
    echo "<meta http-equiv=\"refresh\" content=\"0;url=http://www.t.co/whatever\">";
    ?>
    However if you need 100% of your referrers hidden, you need to change that page2.php file to look something like this:
    Code:
    <?php
    $referer = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];
    if($referer == "")
        {
    echo "<meta http-equiv=\"refresh\" content=\"0;url=http://www.t.co/whatever\">";    
        }
    else
        {
    echo "<meta http-equiv=\"refresh\" content=\"0;url=http://someotherurl.com\">";    
        }
    ?>
    In this case it checks to see if the referrer really was cleared. If it was cleared it sends the user to their twitter link. If it wasn't it sends the user to some other 'safe' url. In that case you can then have that safe URL also link to the twitter or just do something else.

    The reason you need to do that is because some browsers (Chrome and Safari are the two big ones) do not blank the referrer. Unfortunately for people trying to cloak their traffic, Chrome is picking up a lot of market share. When people were doing meta refreshes 2-3 years ago you could expect to only lose 5% of your traffic, while that number is a lot higher now. But that is the price you pay for hiding referrers.


    The other way you could also try to blank the referrer is by using SSL but that creates a whole host of new problems as well and is probably more work than you are looking for.

    Hope this helped! :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  5. thecashbag

    thecashbag Newbie

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    Hey Artifical genius,

    That actually confused me more. Are you saying that my original method (bitly > my site > offer) was a double meta refresh? And that doing that will hide my referrer?

    Or are you saying my method was wrong and I should follow what you outlined. From what I can see it is doing something similar (but without the last step that 100% ensures the referrer is balnked) using bitly and my own redirection software to achieve it. Is that right? Or have I missed something?

    Also your comment about Chrome I'm not sure what that means either.

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  6. ethanmitchel

    ethanmitchel Regular Member

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    Some CPA offers and Adsense would bann you for COMPLETELY hiding your refer. It's sometimes better to fake your refer.