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Definition Referrer

What is a Referrer?

In SEO terms, a referrer is the URL address of a website that sends users to another site via a link, thereby generating traffic to this second site. In other words, the referrer site includes a link to a page on the target site, which visitors to the referrer site will land on by clicking on the link.

What does the URL referrer do?

Placed on a site that can be considered a partner, a referer URL is used to inform the visitor that there is a doorway to available resources that can provide answers to their questions or more information on the subject that interests them. The establishment of this link may be agreed between the two sites or a unilateral decision taken by the owner of the referring site.

In the first case, it may be justified by an advertising exchange agreement, with reciprocal services possibly remunerated, and in the second case, the aim may be to direct the Internet user towards a more voluble or more expert site on a subject that he cannot or does not want to develop too much on his own page. The word referrer is used on the side of the beneficiary site, since it refers to the site that brings in traffic, the site from which Internet users come via the open door that is the incoming link.

As a qualifier, this word applies both to the page containing the link and to the site that includes the page in question. Referrers are acquired as part of a link building strategy to position a site on search engines.

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Referrers let webmasters know which keywords to give priority to for referencing.

Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and others determine referrers on the basis of information provided by the IP protocol, i.e. by the HTTP server about a visitor arriving from a remote URL. This server, which is that of the recipient site, receives information including the URL referrer in the HTTP header. As a result, it knows who is sending it traffic and can determine the volume and average duration of visits to the site.

A dashboard produced by the web analytics tool and displaying the structure of traffic from referrers will be made available to the webmaster to enable him to carry out the necessary analyses for his positioning strategy. The greatest benefit of this in terms of analysis for the beneficiary website is that it will be able to find out which keywords are the most frequently entered by Internet users in search engines to reach its pages. This will guide the webmaster in optimizing its referencing. The webmaster will also be able to sort the referrers so as to authorize only some of them.

The limit of the possibilities of analysis is determined by the fact that there are devices on certain browsers and firewalls which allow referrers not to reveal themselves in order to ensure that their privacy is respected. It should be noted, however, that pages resulting from direct searches made by Internet users on search engines are also considered referrers.

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