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From Markus Schönhaber <mailing-tomcat-u...@schoenhaber.de>
Subject Re: many No Referrers in logs
Date Mon, 26 Jun 2006 14:19:20 GMT
Robert Kudyba wrote:
> We have our server.xml file set w/ the following entry:
> Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve"
> directory="../logs" prefix="ws_access_log." suffix=".txt"
> pattern="combined"
>
> However, there are still many log entries showing no referrers. Some are
> from user spiders such as the following:
[...]
>
> So should we assume that if there is no referrer logged than the user was
> just using links within the site?

No. IMO you should first of all assume that no-one guarantees that a client is 
sending any referrer headers at all.
Most modern browsers will do so but it is more or less easy to change their 
configure to not send them. And moreover, it is very easy to use a proxy the 
removes referrer headers from all requests - idependent of the client used or 
it's configuration.
Because of this you can't draw any safe and definite conclusion from the 
absence of referrers.

That said, David's answer stands: in propably most cases, no referrer means 
the request was made from a bookmark or by typing the URL into the address 
bar and not by clicking on a link on some page (which then would be the 
referring page).

Wether or not the referring page was "within the site" is of no relevance.

Regards
  mks

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