Referrer

Marketing Glossary

Market Ruler, LLC

Referrer

The page which linked to the current page.

When marketers speak of the Referrer, they mean the page which linked to the page currently being viewed by a visitor.

e.g. a visitor first searches for the term "cat food" on Yahoo!

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=cat+food&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701

They click on the first result, which is:

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

Therefore, the "Referrer" on the Wikipedia page is:

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=cat+food&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701

(e.g. the previous page which linked to it.)

The referring page is quite useful as it allows a marketer to determine:

The only problem is...

The main problem with depending on the Referrer of a page to determine the source of your traffic is that many Web Browsers, Firewalls, Proxy servers, Virus Software, and Web Browser Plug-ins will block referrers from being sent to your site.

That means that a savvy marketer should not depend on the referrer being present to determine the source of traffic.

That is why using a Conversion Tracking tool which uses Tagging on Landing URLs to determine the source are much more accurate than ones which depend on the Referrer.

See also

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