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Referrer in Advertisor's Log File

Who get's the 'glory', Google or us as publishers?



2:58 am on Aug 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just wondered if my site will show as the referrer in the destination sites logs when someone clicks through on an ad. Or will it show as having come from Google? Anybody know?


3:12 am on Aug 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

the referrer will be that "page2 media" url. The site will not be able to identify what site the click came from. Theyve paid for their click, part fo which went to you - you want glory AND payment? ;) If their ROI is good they will be thanking Adwords/Google not you.


3:29 am on Aug 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

Yes, the referral will show as the pagead2.googlesyndication.com URLs

Think of it from Google's point of view ~ they don't want advertisers going directly to the publishers with the highest ROI or target audience, and cutting Google out of the $$ loop. So I doubt you will see any change with the referrals, even as Google launches new features.


6:53 am on Aug 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Are you sure about that?

I don't think that is true. I turned JavaScript off, and I still got redirected to an adsense page. The link on adwords points to a server that 301 redirects to another server that 301 redirects to the actual page.

Opera usually reports the last URl it visits as the referrer, irrespective of server redirects. However, for IE, the referrer is the last page with actual HTML content. As 90+% of people use IE, I would say the referer is the actual page the ad is on.

Does anyone who runs adsense as an advertiser know for sure? Intuitively, what you say makes some sense, but then the other side is equally valid. If all your referrals came from a pron site, and you sold bibles, you would want to know why!

Does anyone have proof either way?


12:51 pm on Aug 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You can see which site the visitor came from, my referer log shows the site that had the ad. I went to that site, and sure enough, there was a targed ad pointing to the site. The referer is pagead2.google.com, but the query string in the URL includes the website,


1:25 pm on Aug 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, you can see the URL that the ad is shown on. The logs look like this:
2003-08-14 12:55:10 - xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx GET /default.html - 200 11021 545 240 HTTP/1.0 www.domainname.com Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+MSIE+5.5;+Windows+NT+5.0) - [pagead2.googlesyndication.com...]

(obviously I've hidden the details!)

but I doubt many (any?) AdSense users would risk their income by trying to cut a deal directly with the advertiser - Google manages everything for us this was and everybody is happy*.

(* except PolishGuy!)

too much information

1:35 pm on Aug 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I stoped my ads from appearing on anything but the regular Google search because of my referer logs.

I had a hit from one of my ads, then an inquiry from someone about a job through my online info form.

When I checked my logs I found what seaboy is describing and followed the link to a popular job search site with the google ads appearing at the top of the page. I'm not hiring, but my ad was there.

I pulled the ads from all pages but Google after that, who knows where else they are appearing. I may try it again though, now that AdSense has been running for a while now and I have some negative keywords in my listings.


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