Know how to create cookies? Have a question

9 replies
Hello,

I'm hoping to pick the brain of someone who understands cookies.

I'm curious if it's beyond the limitations of Cookie programming/creation for the cookie to tell me the website a visitor was at right before coming to my site.

I'm not talking about what site referred them, but rather simply the site visited before mine. If you know how to do this and do freelance please lmk.

Thank you
#cookies #create #question
  • Profile picture of the author Subsonic
    Unfortunately it's not possible... The only way to do stuff like that is to read HTTP_REFERER variable from HTTP headers and even then the information is many times missing or not correct. For example if the user comes to your site by clicking a banner ad or via javascript link using IE you won't get any usable referrer data about the website he/she was last visiting.

    I was once programming a tool which would've hugely benefited from that kind of feature so I did lots of digging and finally accepted that it just isn't possible.
    Signature
    Beta testers needed for a new SEO Software. PM me for more information!

    SEOHades Domain Name Research Studio
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4327947].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author entrprnr
      Originally Posted by Subsonic View Post

      Unfortunately it's not possible... The only way to do stuff like that is to read HTTP_REFERER variable from HTTP headers and even then the information is many times missing or not correct. For example if the user comes to your site by clicking a banner ad or via javascript link using IE you won't get any usable referrer data about the website he/she was last visiting.

      I was once programming a tool which would've hugely benefited from that kind of feature so I did lots of digging and finally accepted that it just isn't possible.
      thank you for replying.

      I thought it was certainly possible because tracking of referring sites can be done...

      What if there was an index of recognized cookies that a script could pull from so that x% of the time it was accurate?
      Signature
      Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.
      -Andre Malraux
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328025].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Subsonic
    It's still not possible because other domains can't access cookies set by 3rd party domains. It would be a security issue or a bug if it would be possible.

    Direct quote from one site because I can't post links yet:

    "If the domains don’t share a higher level domain (like foo.example.com and bar.example.com have the same second level domain example.com), there is – or better: there should be – no way of sharing cookies."

    Edit: Yes I know, it sucks!
    Signature
    Beta testers needed for a new SEO Software. PM me for more information!

    SEOHades Domain Name Research Studio
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328060].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author entrprnr
      Originally Posted by Subsonic View Post

      It's still not possible because other domains can't access cookies set by 3rd party domains. It would be a security issue or a bug if it would be possible.

      Direct quote from one site because I can't post links yet:

      "If the domains don't share a higher level domain (like foo.example.com and bar.example.com have the same second level domain example.com), there is - or better: there should be - no way of sharing cookies."

      Edit: Yes I know, it sucks!
      That is so strange considering services like analytics can show referrers, keywords used and search engine referrals based on what I thought was cookies.
      Signature
      Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.
      -Andre Malraux
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328127].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Subsonic
        Originally Posted by entrprnr View Post

        That is so strange considering services like analytics can show referrers, keywords used and search engine referrals based on what I thought was cookies.
        Those analytic services most probably get the keyword from the referrer url. First they identify the search engine and then get certain parameter (q for Google, p for Yahoo etc.) to find the keyword. I've been programming bots for crawling search engines so I'm pretty sure about that
        Signature
        Beta testers needed for a new SEO Software. PM me for more information!

        SEOHades Domain Name Research Studio
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328164].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author entrprnr
          Originally Posted by Subsonic View Post

          Those analytic services most probably get the keyword from the referrer url. First they identify the search engine and then get certain parameter (q for Google, p for Yahoo etc.) to find the keyword. I've been programming bots for crawling search engines so I'm pretty sure about that
          Well ok yeah that's logical - but what about Joe blow's website showing as a referrer?

          Either way thanks again for the discussion.
          Signature
          Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.
          -Andre Malraux
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328187].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Subsonic
            Originally Posted by entrprnr View Post

            Well ok yeah that's logical - but what about Joe blow's website showing as a referrer?

            Either way thanks again for the discussion.
            NP, it's sometimes hard to find accurate answers in this field!

            If the referrer url is something like...

            joeblow.com/xxxxxxx/xxxxxxxxxxxxx/xxx

            ..it will most likely be shown as joeblow.com because the analytics software doesn't recognize the site. The referer info only contains IP address of the user and the url he/she is coming from and sometimes it's empty or fake.

            By the way, analytics software use that IP address in referer field to define how many times a certain user has visited your page!
            Signature
            Beta testers needed for a new SEO Software. PM me for more information!

            SEOHades Domain Name Research Studio
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328265].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author entrprnr
              Originally Posted by Subsonic View Post

              NP, it's sometimes hard to find accurate answers in this field!

              If the referrer url is something like...

              joeblow.com/xxxxxxx/xxxxxxxxxxxxx/xxx

              ..it will most likely be shown as joeblow.com because the analytics software doesn't recognize the site. The referer info only contains IP address of the user and the url he/she is coming from and sometimes it's empty or fake.

              By the way, analytics software use that IP address in referer field to define how many times a certain user has visited your page!
              So if I am reading this right you're saying it is possible to capture the prior website but only at the top level domain name level?
              Signature
              Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act.
              -Andre Malraux
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328297].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Subsonic
                Originally Posted by entrprnr View Post

                So if I am reading this right you're saying it is possible to capture the prior website but only at the top level domain name level?
                Sorry I wrote it in a weird way! You can get the exact page where the user came from. Those xxxxx could be for example /page-something/page-2.php
                Signature
                Beta testers needed for a new SEO Software. PM me for more information!

                SEOHades Domain Name Research Studio
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4328342].message }}

Trending Topics