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Referrer - what you need to know (and how you control it)

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by SEO20, May 12, 2010.

  1. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    OK - there is a LOT misinformation about referrers.

    What is a referrer?
    The referrer, or HTTP referrer?also known by the common misspelling referer that occurs as an HTTP header field?identifies, from the point of view of an internet webpage or resource, the address of the webpage of the resource which links to it.

    By checking the referrer, the new page can see where the request came from. Referrer logging is used to allow websites and web servers to identify where people are visiting them from, for promotional or security purposes.

    Referrer is a popular tool to combat cross-site request forgery, but such security mechanisms do not work when the referrer is disabled. Referrer is widely used for statistical purposes.

    Examples

    Example 1.
    I have a fantastic website with a landing-page:
    http://www.mydomain.com/buycoolstuffnow.html

    On the page buycoolstuffnow.html I link to http://www.google.com
    What is the referrer google sees when the link is from buycoolstuffnow.html. Correct it's http://www.mydomain.com/buycoolstuffnow.html.

    Example 2.
    On http://www.mydomain.com/buycoolstuffnow.html I include an iFrame displaying http://www.google.com. What is the referrer Google sees? Yes - http://www.mydomain.com/buycoolstuffnow.html.

    Example 3.
    What if our Google.com url links to someting external Page C. Click the link, the iframe now shows page C. What is the referrer for C?
    Most browsers report that referrer is B (Google.com).

    Example 4.
    What if you nest iframes in Iframes etc.?
    Well Always look at the page where the link is located. The closest containing page will always be the referrer for the link.
    If you have nested iframes the referrer for the iframe is the closest containing iframe or page.

    How to test?
    Always use a site like
    http://www.whatismyreferrer.com/
    to test your setup.

    Remember you can't do a proper test before your site is actually online and not run locally on your machine.

    Want to keep this basic as you need to know the basics before moving on to more advanced stuff - so nothing here about clearing or spoofing.
     
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  2. C.S.A.

    C.S.A. Junior Member

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    Thanks, this is a great intro for people who don't know, or who need a brushup lesson!
     
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  3. Strygwyr

    Strygwyr Junior Member

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    Excellent, I'm in the process of implementing iframes into my site and figured this would be how it worked. Thanks for the clarification.

    Lots of uses for this :)
     
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  4. angelas111

    angelas111 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    nice noob tutorial. hopefully it will help some folks out.
     
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  5. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    Was tired of seeing all kind of myths about referrer :)
     
  6. TopHat777

    TopHat777 Junior Member

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    The referrer is a giant sub-aquatic creature that lives in a massive underground aquarium.. inside the basement of BHW, and refers people to other sites where they can make money ! You can only access the great referrer if you yourself have been referred to the referrer! If you were not referred by a Jr.VIP then the referrer will do this :boring:.. and eat you!:eek:

    P.S. The referrer is my cousin... so I know my shit!
     
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  7. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    What are you on dude? :)

     
  8. Botwiz

    Botwiz Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    My hats off to you yet again! Great work on really giving these new members something to get there feet wet with.
     
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  9. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    Well we are here to help each other :)
     
  10. vivalafeva

    vivalafeva Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    seo20 great work buddy, Im sure many people will find this helpful!

    should I sticky this?
     
  11. TopHat777

    TopHat777 Junior Member

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    BHW..

    ARRR... the great referrer is near!:captain: ..
     
  12. laowu

    laowu Newbie

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    thanks for the useful information, people really need to know what referrer is when s/he get into the black hat business
     
  13. royalslim

    royalslim Regular Member

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    Is the coding involved in it difficult?
     
  14. ghprod

    ghprod Regular Member

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    what the best method to hide referer for Chrome and Opera?

    since this browser cant hide referer with meta refresh :(

    anyway thanks for details about referer seo20 :)
     
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  15. skylimit

    skylimit Junior Member

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    This concept is new to me, but let me try to take a shot at this... So the more popular the referrer, the higher your rankings on search engines like Goggle and Yahoo?
     
  16. goawayplease

    goawayplease Regular Member

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    No. The referer(yes it's spelled "referrer" but when setting the header you need to spell it "referer"), is a variable set and passed by the browser to a web server, just like the user-agent.

    The referer variable shows the web server where the visitor came from and will end up in logs. Sometimes it's used for link building, like in WP Trackbacks... but it's also used to verify traffic sources.

    The people here in BHW are generally concerned with sending a clean referer to affiliate offers so that they don't get their accounts banned for sending traffic from unwanted sources; IE email, or social media.

     
  17. caroline42

    caroline42 Junior Member

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    Thanks SEO, nice info for a tech noob and pure white hat optimizer (until I found BHW) :D
     
  18. andyh2

    andyh2 Junior Member

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    thanks for the post :) now how to take it to the next level...
     
  19. snorkattack

    snorkattack Newbie

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    So much SEO in that post... something seems fishy! :rolleyes:
     
  20. promzzz

    promzzz Junior Member

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    thanks for this,and now still learning the how to blank referrer throut https