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Glossary keyword - Referrer


What is Referrer?

A referrer is a URL data obtained from the HTTP header field and identifies the webpage’s address. In other words, the HTTP referrer is a web link that leads users to specific web pages. Referring links are commonly used in several areas, such as security methodologies, web analysis, and marketing strategies. By checking referring links, new web pages can identify from where requests originated. Whenever users click on hyperlinks in any browser, that same browser sends a request to the server that is holding a destination of a webpage. HTTP referring link is frequently used for describing this term.

How does it work?

Users make requests regarding their searches, and referring links brings them back to the page where the searched item is generated. For instance, an HTTP referrer for a picture is the HTML sitemap page on which that picture is displayed before. It is an optional part that web browsers send to web server. Many websites use referring links in order to track users. After that, software that is used for weblog analysis processes this user information.

Why is it dangerous?

Referring link’s info can violate the privacy policies of certain websites/ web browsers. That is why there is an option for users that allows them to disable the sending link information. Some web browsers use software such as proxy and firewall in order to filter out referring link’s info. Besides, it can be helpful for them to avoid linking to websites that are not publicly accessible. There is an illegal act that is called bandwidth theft. 


To prevent this type of act, some web servers block the particular parts of their web pages to web browsers that are not sending the correct referring info. Otherwise, this can lead to severe problems such as unauthorized use of private images and deep linking, which are referring to bandwidth theft. There is a good side of referrer usage as well, which helps publishers, blog post writers to attack users on the internet. Though this practice can also lead to increased HTTP referral link spam.


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