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Do ad clicks have referrer information from my site?

Referring information can be useful to determine the source of traffic. However, this field is not a reliable source since it is controlled by the visitor's browser. Many browsers pass it on to the destination website intact while other browsers can block, change, or remove this field completely via built-in settings and add-ons. The most common reason is privacy.

When a visitor clicks on an ad on your website, he/she goes to the advertiser's website via our click tracking system. Our ad server records the click and visitor details first, then redirects the visitor to the final advertiser's landing page.

301 vs. 302

To redirect, our ad server issues a 301 or 302 HTTP header. Default redirection code is 301. You can change this setting in your account by following the menu My Account/Profile, click on the Settings tab and change Click Redirection Code.

A "301 Moved Permanently" redirection is more search-engine friendly as it helps the search spider/crawler correctly rank and locate advertiser's website. It is suggested by major search engines as the proper method for off-site redirection.

A "302 Found" redirection is a temporary redirection. It might confuse some search engines as to which is the actual content page to index. Content and PageRank issues can be associated to the usage of 302 redirections. By default, our ad server does not display ads to web spiders, bots so it is not an issue for most websites.

Iframe vs. JavaScript

The referrer information also depends on the serving code's format. If the ad is served via IFrame, the referrer URL is from our ad server. If the ad is served via JavaScript, the referrer URL is from your website. If you want your website to show up as the referrer source on advertiser's web analytics, you should use JavaScript, or use your own white label ad serving domain.

Solution and Recommendation

If your advertiser wants to identify incoming clicks more reliably instead of using the referrer field, we recommend tagging the landing/destination URL with specific analytic parameters as a more reliable method to determine the source of traffic.

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