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I however suspect that this is a con because the referrer field is always set to the domain of the company providing the service. However the user host ip addresses are unique.
I've done some research and can't find any type of redirect that results in the referrer being set to the redirecting server. am I correct in saying that it's not possible?
The only thing I can think of is that they are using bots and spoofing ip addresses. Is that possible?
Would there be any way for me to prove that this traffic is not authentic?
So I would expect such a service to have all traffic coming from one (or a few) IP numbers myself. But - the domains can't be expired - they must have been bought up. You can check the whois to make sure that the same company is controlling the domains.
Now - whether the traffic would be valuable under that model really depends on who you are and how much you care about building your own brand into something of substance.
I don't know the domains in question. I doubt there really are any because the referrer is never anything other than the domain of the company offering the service.
This company say they redirect traffic from these expired domains (I presume they mean bought up ones). So I would expect the user host ip address to be the users address even if all the domains were hosted on the same server.
The sequence as I see it would be:
1. User browser requests page on expired domain. The referrer would be either empty if the request was via a bookmark or just from typing in the url in the browser address field. If the request came via a page that contained a link to the expired domain then the browser would set the referrer to the page containing the link.
2. The server hosting the expired domain sends a response back to the browser telling it to try another address (the redirect to my page).
Now the traffic to my site has legitimate looking user host ip addresses but the referrer is always the service providers own domain. I can't see any way they could do this apart from if they are spoofing the ip addresses and originating requests themselves.
It all seems a bit dodgy to me.
When you know more about their claims, post back here so we can comment further on how realistic they sound.
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