I'm looking for answers to the following: When does a brower generate referral string? When do they not?
Which browsers: - generate strings from password protected directories? - block referrals with the word "password" in a posted forms? - only generate off site referral strings? - generate referrals strings between sessions and which don't? - does a No Cache tag or http Expires/Modified lines effect browser referral generation? - besides Opera can you turn off referral strings? Hidden option? - block strings from email/news? Which allow them? - snip form submitted data from referral strings? Is that on a POST or a GET? - have other 'hidden' features, options, or bugs?
I can't find any published studies on the above. It is strange too, since referral strings are the heart of promtion results tracking.
<Which browsers: - generate strings from password protected directories?>
I set up a PW protected directory on one domain using mod_auth and set up a page linking to another domain that is logging referrals.
These browsers all sent referers on my Win2K box:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 5.0) Mozilla/4.08 [en] (WinNT; U ;Nav) Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; m18) Gecko/20001108 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows NT 5.0) Opera 5.02
and from my Unix shell account: Lynx/2.8.1rel.2 libwww-FM/2.14
Opera: - all versions referral string generation optional by user preference setting.
When enabled: v3.62 generates: - referrals from all sites but those protected from http access files. - no form value passed on POSTed form. - referrals when click is to new window, or when "open in new window" is used.
v5: - no referrals from directories protected from http access files. - no referrals from email. - no referrals from "mouse gesture" into new window (down release). Might be a bug. - yes referral from shift-click new window, or "open in new window". - unknown: form/cookie with word "password" in it. - no referral string on form value "password".
Straying a bit, but if you really want control over what information you are sending out and you are stuck with a windows OS you will love Proxomitron. It is free and a great utility. You could filter js, set the UA to what ever you want, and mask the referrer. Check out the features. [computerstuff.net]