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Change Referral Url



10:47 pm on Feb 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is there a way to change my URL on click-out so that, when the website I'm linking to tracks that I sent them a visitor, it shows something like:


as opposed to:


I'd just like to have my site referrals stand out a bit better.

[edited by: encyclo at 2:52 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2006]
[edit reason] switched URLs to example.com [/edit]


3:59 am on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The refer header is controlled and sent by the browser, so in short, no.


2:34 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Uhm... HTTP headers are very easy to fake.

You can find an example to set the REFERER header in an HTTP request here:

(less than 10 lines of Perl code)


3:29 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I know nothing about Pearl...can this be done with PHP or javascript?


7:01 pm on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

tombola, yes it is easy to write an application that fetch a page and will spoof the referer. What you can't do is force the another application (e.g. the browser that the user is using) to report a different referer to what it decides to send as the referer; which is what in my opinion inveni0 is asking for. You cannot do this, not without writing Malware that infects the browser in question.


3:45 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let's clarify:

Is there a program that will 'spoof' a referrer. For instance, let's say I refer someone from my page (www.mysite.com/links/link.php?name=109437) to another site (www.yoursite.com). I'd like to spoof my referral url so that, when checking their tracking software, www.yoursite.com will show that my referral came from www.mysite.com.

Is this possible?


3:52 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

No -- you can't change a browser's referer string from your web server.


12:26 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Like for many "impossible" things, there's an easy way round (I'm sorry, I can only do this in Perl):

1. Transform your home page into an executable program:
2. On your link pages, use POST instead of GET to send visitors to index.cgi
For example:

<form method="post" action="http://www.mysite.com/">

<input type="submit" name="submit" value="http://www.otherdomain1.com/"><br>
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="http://www.otherdomain2.com/"><br>
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="http://www.otherdomain3.com/"><br>
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="http://www.otherdomain4.com/"><br>


3. Create a routine in index.cgi that checks whether a redirect must be executed (if not, display your home page)

When visitors click on a link, they are sent to [mysite.com...] (no need to add index.cgi!)
Depending on the "submit" value, they are immediately redirected to the site in question.
The webmaster of that site will see [mysite.com...] as the referer.

PS. You can use CSS to remove the borders from the input boxes so they look like real links.


3:10 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That may work!

What I do is this:

Link to a redir-page using a tag (PHP) like this > [mysite.com...]

Then, I have code in the redir.php page that checks for an existent $URL string and then redirects to the url using a meta tag (this makes it look to trackers as if the redir.php page was never even loaded). On the end of [yoursite.com,...] I add?SRC=MySite. This seems to work fine, and is much like your idea.


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