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strange refer

     
5:10 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



anybody have a clue what this is about?

142.167.112.zz - - [24/Oct/2012:03:18:18 +0100] "GET /MyFolders/MyPage.htm HTTP/1.1" 200 9171 "http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&biw=1280&bih=643&noj=1&gbv=2&sclient=psy-ab&q=widget+widget1+widget2&oq=widget+widget1+widget2&gs_l=serp.12...5690.11300.0.14015.12.12.0.0.0.0.718.2091.4j7j6-1.12.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.1j_LtLSaelA" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:16.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/16.0"

the added on portion that begins:

l=serp.12...5690.11300.0.14015.12.12.0.0.0.0.718.2091.4j7j6-1.12.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.1j_LtLSaelA
7:21 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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




&gs_l=serp.12...5690.11300.0.14015.12.12.0.0.0.0.718.2091.4j7j6-1.12.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.1j_LtLSaelA

this is actually the last parameter of query string for the SERP URL.
gs_l is the parameter name - can't find a reference describing its purpose anywhere.
the parameter value contains two strings separated by a percent-encode semicolon (%3B)

in examples of this type of google search url, i have seen the parameter value begin with "serp", "hp", "img" and "youtube"
8:50 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Many thanks phranque.

As much as I use google, was not aware that customized results were a search option.

SERP URL [searchengineland.com]

Suppose I'm just curious as to why the additional data in the refer does not cause a 404.
9:06 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



in examples of this type of google search url, i have seen the parameter value begin with "serp", "hp", "img" and "youtube"

Another is "news". It just depends on which search category you're using. What's "hp"?

I found "gs_l" mentioned in a piwik discussion, and they suggested a particular search phrase. I tried feeding it into the different sub-searches. I would guess something like "location" i.e. what type of search you're in.

They also quoted this interesting specimen which I've never met in real life:
gs_upl=7086l7086l0l7492l1l1l0l0l0l0l83l83l1l1l0
&gs_l=img.12...7086l7086l0l7492l1l1l0l0l0l0l83l83l1l1l0

Notice how the number strings are identical.

Suppose I'm just curious as to why the additional data in the refer does not cause a 404.

Why would it? Unless you've got something really evil in your htaccess that fine-tooth-combs the referer for each page request, and manually returns a 404 if it doesn't pass inspection. Wouldn't put it past you, heh heh.
9:34 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I copied and pasted the actual (non-obscured) referring URL into my browser and the results didn't provide anything unique. At least not an explanation of insight into any "custom search options".

Then I copied the actual search terms into a new search, and although the results (order) were slightly different, there wasn't any great difference. (the results quantity were identical in both instances).
10:45 am on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I'm just curious as to why the additional data in the refer does not cause a 404.

you can append "&foo=junk" to any google search url and you should be good to go.
 

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