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View Full Version : What are 'Referrals'?



Jeff Root
2010-Oct-02, 10:32 PM
In the context of vBulletin, what is a referral?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-02, 10:36 PM
Referrals are usually links which lead off the site, resp. what the server to which you are sent sees as your starting point.

Some forums chose to mask referrals, i.e. the server to which you are sent gets a bogus referral and thinks you came from somewhere else.

The most common referrals which one can see in server logs is presently Google. You can see from which google site the referral came and even what the search input was.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-02, 11:47 PM
They are the number of people who, while signing up, wrote your username as the one they heard it from.
So Jeff, you have one other user who claims to have heard about the forum from you.

JAmbrose7
2010-Dec-07, 01:25 AM
id like to know about this also

geonuc
2010-Dec-07, 09:46 AM
Referrals are usually links which lead off the site, resp. what the server to which you are sent sees as your starting point.

Some forums chose to mask referrals, i.e. the server to which you are sent gets a bogus referral and thinks you came from somewhere else.

The most common referrals which one can see in server logs is presently Google. You can see from which google site the referral came and even what the search input was.

No offense, but your first line doesn't do much for my understanding of what referrals are. Perhaps Jeff understands and he asked the question.

Moose
2010-Dec-07, 10:17 AM
Henrik's answer is the correct one. It's a field you can fill in when you first sign up. It serves no real purpose, except that spammers sometimes use it to try and appear legit. It's an easy indicator (for spam accounts that haven't spammed yet) that we need to take a closer look.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Dec-09, 01:35 AM
From my mod days I remember that a disturbingly high percentage of the spammers claimed to have been referred by ToSeek, to the point where that in itself gave a 99% confidence that the accounts was a spammer..

slang
2010-Dec-09, 02:07 AM
Well, that does seem to make some sense. I see lots of posts here on the forum with the name ToSeek in it, and also a link!

caveman1917
2010-Dec-09, 04:15 PM
Henrik's answer is the correct one. It's a field you can fill in when you first sign up. It serves no real purpose, except that spammers sometimes use it to try and appear legit. It's an easy indicator (for spam accounts that haven't spammed yet) that we need to take a closer look.

Both answers are correct, it's just that the term is used for two different things.

Kleindoofy refers to the 'Http-referral' field which is part of the http-protocol (if you click a link you are sending a packet to the server of that website, in that packet there will be a string stating where you are coming from). If i click a link on BAUT to go to some other site, that other site will find "HTTP-REFERRAL:http://www.bautforum.com/..." in the packet it receives.

Moose
2010-Dec-09, 04:23 PM
Caveman, vBulliten does not display http-referral to the user. Yes, it's technically correct information, but not for the question that was asked.

Jeff Root
2010-Dec-10, 02:52 AM
The term that kleindoofy tried to explain is actually "referrer",
which is erroneously spelled "referer" in the HTTP specification.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_referrer

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis