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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Charlie_chalk's Avatar
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    Tracking outgoing links

    I have a site that acts as a central hub for information contained on other websites (for the purpose of this mail itís like a directory, though in actual fact itís not).

    My site visitors generally arrive at a page relevant to them from a search on Google, then click a link taking them to the information they require.

    The information they are taken to isnít on my site or under my control.

    I can see from my Google analytics stats which exit pages are the most popular but I donít know if it is an exist from clicking the link or an exist because they closed their browser or typed a different address in the browser.

    Iíve see sites in the past that after clicking an external link take you to a page that then redirects you to the location you are wanting to get to. If this redirection page had a unique url (linked to the previous page) I could use this as a method of tracking visitors leaving my site.

    Iíd like to know if this is:

    A) Possible, can this be done? (I assume PHP would be used?)
    B) Will the search engines mind if I do this? Iím currently PR5 and on many of the first pages of Google for my keywords.

    If anyone can give me some ideas as to how to go about this or point me in the direction of a tutorial Iíd appreciate it.

    CC

  2. #2
    rajug.replace('Raju Gautam'); bronze trophy Raju Gautam's Avatar
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    Generally those all are tracked with the help of JS and PHP. I had worked on a project/site which collects all the information that a visitor does in a site. But the site must be register in my site.

    To track the entry pages and exit pages, you must track all the pages and store in the database table as referrer page as well as visited pate. So:
    1. Entry page: The visited page which does not have referrer page is entry page.
    2. Exit page: The last referrer page which does not have visited page.

    I don't know how much i could explain.
    Mistakes are proof that you are trying.....
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PSD to HTML - SlicingArt.com | Personal Blog | ZCE - PHP 5

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Charlie_chalk's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply Rajug.

    Do you know if this type of redirection will affect the way the search engines feel about your site?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast shredder-man's Avatar
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    A longer, maybe more crude way around this, would be to make each of the links go to a refresh page where the link would be entered in a database and then immediately be refreshed to the site they need to go. Your visitors would never know and hardly notice.

    As far as SEO in this example, it wouldn't hurt at all. The bots would see your pages like normal. Your refresh pages wouldn't get ranked but who cares right?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot Charlie_chalk's Avatar
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    So there wouldn't be any adverse reaction to the refreshing of a page - I vaugley remember that being a bad thing for the 'bots?

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard lorenw's Avatar
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    what I have done in the past is something like,

    clicks.php?url=http://www.google.com

    then in clicks.php you log whatever you need and do a header redirect to google.

    I have heard that the search engines look for http but not sure if they would be able to follow the link to google in the above example.

  7. #7
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    I vaugley remember that being a bad thing for the 'bots?
    Even the people who make the 'bots do it.

    A quick example: go onto google and type in "Ebay".

    you'll see at the "sponsored results" area, there is a link to ebay. You should notice that it doesn't point to ebay, but to a page in google.com which probably adds the click record to a database (so ebay gets charged when you click).

    You can do the same. Have a page called redirect.php, and it could look something like this:
    PHP Code:
    <?
    $redir 
    $_GET['url'];
    //do what u wanna do with it
    header("location: ".$redir);
    ?>
    and on the links, put:
    PHP Code:
    <a href="redirect.php?url=http://www.google.com/">google</a
    for example.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona


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