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Google search without keywords valid

 4:33 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I get hundreds of visitors each day with Google in the referrer, but no keywords. Most of them are from foreign locations and/or foreign Google domains (example: google.be).

An example referrer:

Are these valid referrer strings?



 8:06 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

There has been a lot of discussion in the google forum about this, if it's what I think you mean.

Essentially, if you use an https google search the web site gets no referer. Some dumb idea of G's that your data is more secure that way - except, of course, secure from G who will log/scrape your request details anyway.

Downside is: the web site owner has no idea what keywords are used to find the site and sites that provide content based on the referer keywords can no longer do so.

Upside: none that anyone can think of unless you are G.

There is some suggestion that GA will fetch the missing keywords but hey! Who in their right mind uses a G analyzer? :)


 8:17 pm on Apr 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well that stinks. I was hope it could be used to track down more spiders!


 1:28 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

There is some suggestion that GA will fetch the missing keywords

Weirder version: even though piwik analytics doesn't show the missing keyword, it does tell you if the invisible word was in the top 10 for that user doing that search.

:: detour to pore over raw logs ::

Bingo. One small mystery solved. Not that it helps anything, it's just nice to know. The

&cd=(some number)

item in your raw logs is the position of the item in the user's search string. This information is retained even if your user is using the version with search term obfuscated (&q= ...and that was all she wrote). But not the version where g### dot com comes through as a referring site.

Wonder what "cd" stands for? I'll have to stop ignoring it, anyway.


 2:11 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wonder what "cd" stands for?

Hazarding a semi-educated guess, I'd say, the same as "what it says 'ere' =>..chez-"the shiny, fruity place"

'cd' means case-insensitive and diacritic-insensitive

programmer's "jargon"

it is "a bit of a string"..as opposed to "a string of bits"

further reading and source of 'cd' quote below..
keep you going for years ..or until the rodent's eyesses glazes over and you begins to hear them snorings..

chez-"the shiny, fruity place"

Yes I know it's not G..but I'm sure the meaning /usage of 'cd' is the same..logic dictates thus..how many different ways to program things that produce query strings might there be..and why re-invent the wheel etc etc..especially the terminological bits..eh

ps.. old thread [webmasterworld.com...]
for you..dstiles was in it then too..:)


 5:06 am on Apr 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Urk. Never mind the rodents-- that's enough to make my own eyes glaze over!

Funny though, I always assumed the g### search referer had been the same since the dawn of time. So it only dates from 2009 eh.

Some referers include two search strings: one for what the human actually typed and one for what g### searched for. (Don't remember the exact labels.) You'd expect one of those to get the "cd" label.

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