Is Referrer blocking possible?

  • tdlbt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a site that contains a ton of links. I need people to be able to use those links, but I don’t want my site to appear on the linked site's referrer list. Any suggestions?

Also, is there any easy way to identify which sites are using referrers?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

For your second question, you can sometimes tell if a site is tracking visitors, but there is no way to tell if they are not. They can be tracking visitors/referrers easily without you ever having a clue. For example they could use their server logs to track referrers.

For your first question you could use a javascript based link which would limit the passing of the referral site on many browsers. I think the latest browsers now pass the referral site even through JavaScript, so it wouldn't prevent it completely.

For the most part though, you cannot prevent your visitors from showing they came from your site when they visit another, at least that I know. You could make an intermediate page if you do not want them to know exactly what page they came from.

Now the actual visitor could easily prevent them from passing referral data to the sites they visit by using some kind of software to block it. I know many AntiVirus programs has this built in, Norton AntiVirus being one of them. However, as a webmaster this does you no good because you do not have control of what programs are on their computer.
  • tdlbt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmm. Oy! Okay. Thanks for responding so quickly.

(And sorry my SUBJECT wasn't clearer. :?)
  • nuclei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The easiest way to do this is simply to use target="_blank" for all links you do not want to show referer to the site.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

nuclei wrote:
The easiest way to do this is simply to use target="_blank" for all links you do not want to show referer to the site.


The referrer info will still be passed. That will not stop it. The only special thing it will do is open the site in a new window, that is it. Nice try though :)
  • nuclei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Try it :)

As far as I have seen in our apache logs over 13 differant servers, no referer carries over when using a target="_blank"
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well I know I am right for sure on this one. I actually program tracking scripts:

http://uts.bigwebmaster.com/
http://www.darkvenom.com/

and know this area very well. I have done tons of tests in this area to figure out all kinds of ways to track visitors and where they come from. I use target=_blank on most of my sites and everything is tracked perfectly, how it should be :)

Click on your link in your signature that goes to your site and you will see in your logs that you came from Ozzu. Your link in your sig is using target=_blank already.
  • nuclei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Maybe it is just the way my techs setup our boxes, but.....


216.175.77.24 - - [12/Sep/2003:23:24:36 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 304 - "" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)"
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well it depends on what they have turned on with their logs. By default Apache will not log referers. (I am assuming you are using Apache).

Here is what Apache usually uses for the default logging scheme:

LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b" common

Now if your admin's would switch to using this one:

LogFormat "%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-Agent}i\"" combined

The referrer info will be stored in your logfiles with that.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It is also possible that your client machine you are on does not pass the referrer variable. You wouldn't be happening to use Norton Antivirus would you? By default that program will prohibit you from passing the referrer variable to other sites you visit.
  • nuclei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

we get all other referers fine.
  • nuclei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nope, if I click on a regular link it passes referer.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well I am sure there is another explanation then. I target _blank between all my sites and everything for me is tracked perfectly. I have been doing that for years.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Click on this link nuclei:

<a href="http://www.bigwebmaster.com/test.cgi" target="_blank">CLICK THIS</a>

and then copy and paste what you see.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Bigwebmaster wrote:
You wouldn't be happening to use Norton Antivirus would you?
I think you mean Norton's Internet Security.
The antivirus doesn't have this problem.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You are correct, that is what I meant. I think that comes with Norton Antivirus though doesn't it? and it seems like most people with Norton Antivirus end up running Norton Internet Security too. Or can you buy those two seperately?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

totally seperate.

Internet Security is a package of software, including Firewall, Internet
Security, and Antivirus in an integrated install. That's what I had on my
machine those few weeks you and I were testing some stuff. I
ditched it long ago tho.

I bought Norton Antivirus seperately and have never had a problem with
pages, referrers, etc. It's simply put, an antivirus program only.
  • tdlbt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Op! Okay, hold up just a sec. Are you guys saying that Norton AV's default config doesn't automatically block referrers?
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

No, I am saying the default config for Norton Internet Security blocks the passing of the referer variable.

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