Ammon Johns Discusses Problems with Referral Tracking


Ammon Johns in a thread at Search Engine Watch Forums named Referral ID strings and referrer info, discusses his thoughts on the ongoing and future issues with capturing referral data. He says that due to spyware, other "applications and plug-ins strip referrer info from HTTP headers sent by browsers, making the HTTP referrer less accurate by the day." Many web analytics applications now resort to the use of both log files and JavaScript to capture this information, but "even this is sometimes blocked, and JavaScript is more often turned off than ever." Ammon said "It's [JavaScript Tracking] less reliable than HTTP referrer info."

In Ammons post, he discusses risky and safe methods to go about improving the tracking of referral information. But he then gets into some theory with the statement;

We might all decide that we'd use a refID=somevalue; query string parameter, which the engines can then look at to see if they'd teach the spider to automatically strip out that one variable, or perhaps even change the value - refID=Google; or refID=Yahoo for instance.

I am confident, this thread will turn out to be exceptional.

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