Is Not Passing Referer Information

Sep 15, 2006 • 7:51 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing Search

So MSN Search Switched to the other night. Guess what... is not passing referer data. I.e. you will not know what type of traffic you are getting from You won't know you got 10 or 100 or 1,000 visitors from You won't know what keywords they searched on in to find you in the free results. You won't know!

MSN Search did pass referer information, but is not, at the moment at least.

I verified this with my stats from yesterday, nothing from and I know I used to get some MSN Search traffic (which has now been replaced by

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums.

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martin - webseo

09/15/2006 02:43 pm

I just checked and I don't see any referrals from MSN (or since 09/12/06. I just made a test search there and it doesn't have a referrer. Interesting. I wonder how long it will take them to fix this. ooops! martin


09/15/2006 04:41 pm

Search Industry to MSN: <em>JUST MAKING YOUR SEARCH ENGINE PRETTIER DOESN'T MAKE IT NOT SUCK.</em> Spend some time making your algorithm return useful results, <em>THEN</em> work on its candy-licious-ness. You'd think the massive drop in MSN Search usage since the last redesign would be a little hint. But, alas, no. They continue to be morons up in Redmond.


09/15/2006 05:07 pm

Confirmed by my clients. MSN has been showing some great results with respect to PPC lately and not being able to track how many visitors we get through Live means I can't show revenue from organic traffic. [We usually just use the same conversion rate as the PPC campaigns even though I believe organic converts at a higher rate - a whole n'other topic.


09/15/2006 06:12 pm

I'm seeing HTTP_referer data now. I wasn't able to test earlier, but as of 2PM EST I'm getting referer info.


09/16/2006 12:26 pm

If you see a referer from in your logs, chances are that: a) the user had JavaScript support disabled in his/her browser; OR b) the user was using Opera, the only browser I've tested so far that is able to pass referer information through the JavaScript code used by Windows Live Search for SERP click tracking.


09/16/2006 06:12 pm

Well, the user was in fact myself using Firefox without no JS or other odd disablings... However, using a different PC this afternoon I cannot see referer info. Then again, a moment ago via remote access, I was able to repeat the same exact search and see referer data of (same as yesterday) The only difference in setup is ISP.

Aaron Shear

09/17/2006 04:26 pm

If they actually passed any measurable traffic this might be important.


09/20/2006 05:37 am

Hmm... Today I saw a referral from my stats,.... Did they fix that,,,..???


09/23/2006 09:18 am

Is there only referer diffrence or any thing else between MSN and ?


11/04/2006 07:38 am

MSN and support?


01/25/2007 12:22 pm

I've found some interesting entries in my website's logs. Today "something" has entered from and (Microsoft) and what is in referrer? Yes, an queries with keywords like: lesbian, chevrolet etc. My website is of course not connected with such a keywords. Do you know something about it? Maybe some worm?


01/29/2007 01:17 am

I too just got a hit from which is a search for "BMW" on I don't know what is going on but my website is not even indexed yet.

SEO Hacker

05/16/2007 09:40 am

I also got a lot of "noise", check my post here:

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