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Cloaking based on referrer

   
2:39 pm on May 26, 2011 (gmt 0)



Hello,

Can I display different versions of a page based on http referrer without risking ban?

What difference between the two versions would be acceptable?
1:07 pm on May 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Anything not deceptive to the user would be my guess, not baiting and switching content.
9:46 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've been running http_referer based cloaked page for more than a decade for a competitive area as part of a test of this very question. Result: no problems; top ranking.
10:18 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Be aware that many legitimate visitors do not present a referrer - the data is suppressed by some ISPs, by some "internet security" software, or by user choice (browser settings).
11:19 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



That's good, isn't it? It means that the version seen by robots will also be seen by perfectly legitimate humans. If all humans had referers*, the no-referer version would only be seen by robots-- and that would be a problem.


* Which they wouldn't anyway. What about bookmarks and type-ins? Those should be the visitors you love the best.
10:03 am on Aug 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



getting slightly off-topic, but...

email clients and non-browser web apps such as twitter apps won't send a referrer.