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The page which linked to the current page.

When marketers speak of the Referrer, they mean the page which linked to the page currently being viewed by a visitor.

e.g. a visitor first searches for the term "cat food" on Yahoo!

They click on the first result, which is:

Therefore, the "Referrer" on the Wikipedia page is:

(e.g. the previous page which linked to it.)

The referring page is quite useful as it allows a marketer to determine:

  • What web pages link to theirs
  • What, if any, keywords were entered by a visitor prior to landing on their site, and
  • Determine the path of the visitor on the site

The only problem is...

The main problem with depending on the Referrer of a page to determine the source of your traffic is that many Web Browsers, Firewalls, Proxy servers, Virus Software, and Web Browser Plug-ins will block referrers from being sent to your site.

That means that a savvy marketer should not depend on the referrer being present to determine the source of traffic.

That is why using a Conversion Tracking tool which uses Tagging on Landing URLs to determine the source are much more accurate than ones which depend on the Referrer.

See also