Join 3,423 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


How do I block my url from showing up in other people's referral logs?
August 17, 2005 6:34 PM   Subscribe

How do I block my url from showing up in other people's referral logs?

I am not doing anything shady here... it's just that I've put up a blog that I mainly want to share with friends and family. I don't want to go to the trouble of password protecting it, and I know that anything on the web can be seen by most anybody... but I would like to simply discourge visits from those who have no reason to be there. I've already set up robot.txt(s) to keep the search engines out, but I want to deter people from visiting the site just because my link shows up on their logs due to an occasional link I might post. I know there is a way to block the referring link address (as frequently other sites get blocked in my own logs), I just don't know how to do it. Anyone have a simple solution?
posted by RoseovSharon to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
you want a server-based redirect script. It'll take the url as a parameter, spoof the referrer, and redirect the browser, e.g. something along these lines of PHP:

$URI=$_GET['URI'];
header("Referer: http://www.example.com");
eader("Location: $URI");
exit;

then you write your links as yourserver.com/redirect.php?URI=http://linkedpage.com/

this should show up in their logs as traffic coming frmo example.com.

google for "redirect script" and you should find plenty.
posted by joshwa at 6:50 PM on August 17, 2005


Or you can just use Google's redirect:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=URL
posted by smackfu at 6:52 PM on August 17, 2005


joshwa and smackfu's comments answer your first question, but it sounds like what you're really worried about is increased traffic and perhaps a bit of privacy, so maybe you should look into password protection after all. Setting up password protection via .htaccess is simple, and there are 610,000 sites on google that match "using .htaccess". I'm sure at least one of them has to be of help.

Also keep in mind that there are plenty of spiders that do not respect robots.txt, so don't count on that file to keep every last word on your site from being archived and searchable for all eternity. Oh... and you typed robot.txt, not robots.txt. I'm pretty sure it's the latter. :)

Cheers!
posted by cactus at 7:06 PM on August 17, 2005


Thanks all!

smackfu, in using your example, if I create a link like:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=http://www.metafilter.com

... then when Metafilters webmaster looked at their logs, they would not see my url as the referrer, but they would see Google instead?

cactus: I'm not so much worried about traffic, privacy is more the issue. I know a password would take care of the problem, but the other problem is that my friends and family are lazy... if I require a password very few of them would bother to visit my site! I am not after absolute privacy, basically I'm just not wanting to advertise that my site is out there. I don't mind if some random people find it, just looking for ways to minimize that. I do like to share a lot of links, so probably most random people coming to my site would be curious webmasters wanting to know who linked to them... and that's what I want to avoid.
posted by RoseovSharon at 7:34 PM on August 17, 2005


smackfu, in using your example, if I create a link like:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=http://www.metafilter.com

... then when Metafilters webmaster looked at their logs, they would not see my url as the referrer, but they would see Google instead?


Exactly.
posted by null terminated at 7:36 PM on August 17, 2005


AWESOME!
posted by RoseovSharon at 7:55 PM on August 17, 2005


It's best to use Google for this, as sending bogus referers from other domains can get you marked as a spammer -- my general practice when I see an odd referer is to click through, and if I don't see a link to my site on the allegedly referring page I block incoming referral from anything in that domain.
posted by ubernostrum at 8:33 PM on August 17, 2005


Browsers vary widely in how they implement the referrer system. There's a good chance that your blog's URL will show up in referrer logs even with the redirect trick.
posted by cillit bang at 3:38 AM on August 18, 2005


Why not just put up a username/password challenge that's insanely trivial for anyone who knows you? "What's my middle name?" for example.
posted by phearlez at 8:19 AM on August 18, 2005


Lets just pretend the password option is out... I really do not want to set up a password.

Plus, even if I did set up a password, this would not block my url in someone's referral log, which is what I want. Sure, they wouldn't get into my site without a password, but my link in their logs would still bring them to my front door. I am not really concerned with a few people getting into the blog itself, I just want to avoid bringing them to the site to begin with.

I appreciate all the suggestions... but really... a password protected site is not what I am looking for or asking about.
posted by RoseovSharon at 2:10 PM on August 18, 2005


« Older I just bought my first blender...   |  Why are so many shipping magna... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.