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Editor: Paul
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About Referrals

Q: Capture that referrer?

A: Below is a general example of "A"web site? I would like you to imagine that this is your site and all the boxes below represent one page on your site, I have named these pages generally to make it easier, and in this fictional model you have only installed 2 counters! With all this in mind now read through the following information referencing this picture of your site...


It is important you spend some time understanding your counters operation to obtain the best benefit from it's use and obviously maximize and obtain a true representation of your site hits, this following information skim's the surface but gives you an idea why you need extra counters, they do not have to show numbers on every page, you can make your counters invisible as well…

Someone somewhere has linked to your site's home page "GREAT" this we shall call external referrer 1. A user or customer decides to click this link and arrives at your homepage. Because this user or customer has never been to your site before, your counter counts this new visitor as a unique hit and gets the referral information from their browser. From this simple exercise you know that this is a new visitor and where they came from; so far so good!!!

The same is also true as above if another site links to your page but decides that page1.htm has more relevant information to do with his/her own site you may have editorial of interest on it or it may just be that the site owner that is sending you this hit prefers that particular page more than any others and rather than your homepage "this we shall call external referrer 2" for whatever reason he/she links to your page1.htm because you have a counter on this page; it will still declare a unique hit to page1.htm and still capture the referrer information, if at this point the user decides to stay on your site and go to your home page by clicking a link on page1.htm your next counter on index.htm will count this next hit as a reload and capture the fact that the referring page and hit has come from page1.htm.

With me so far; Good!!

Here's where the problems start:
Say another site decides page2.htm is the best page to link to; you do not have a counter on this page so it will not capture anything at all simply because the counter does not exist!! Now if the user decides to go to your homepage your counter on index.htm will count them as a unique hit, and worse you will not know where this hit has come from because the referring page will be page2.htm, the information of external referrer 3 will be lost forever, simply because there was nothing there to capture this information for you.

The user leaves your site after viewing the contents of page2.htm or page3.htm and never gets counted in your totals, additionally you will never know that external referrer 3 or even external referrer 4 even exists and is sending you hits…

It is worth bearing in mind that some search engines index your entire site, and a user can find your site by entering an abstract word as well as the Norm, this could be any page on your site and to all intensive purposes if it is either of page2 or page3.htm you will never know that they have visited, and you will loose the referral information to these pages and therefore never know if this is a popular page or not, and in the worst circumstances you may even remove this page…

Advice: use the counter to its best ability, put one on every page so the statistics can monitor your whole site, you can make the counter invisible on some pages visible on others this way you ensure you capture all visitors to your site including where they came from…


Note: if for any reason you do not understand any of my tutorials on certain aspects or at all, please do not suffer in silence; I am here to help you and if you do not understand that I am trying to explain here it usually means someone else will have the same difficulty, it may be the way I have explained it or it could be an error or omission on my part, please contact me if you are unsure of anything at any time to do with my software?
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