How do I get the url to stay the same when using a redirect script?
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04-03-2009, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Everything you have said has been very helpful Websavvy!
That google link is very interesting and explains the situation pretty well, and the tips on how to help prevent abuse are also helpful. Two of the tips are already used in the simple script I came up with, the HTTP referrer basically renders the script useless for spammers who want to hide their url behind a 'respected' url on my site - in other words if they try to send the link to people (spam) via my domain's redirect script, they'd be wasting their time as the script won't work should any of the recipients click on the link (HTTP referrer kicking in).
The HTTP referrer also helps against the other abuse (the one you were on about) where spammers generate links to your pages redirect script redirecting people to their porn/spam site - they usually do this so your domain (being a respected domain) is 'used' to mask their content/spam (so people think they are going to a safe site, yet it redirects to their porn) - by abusing your redirect script, but as I'm using HTTP referrer - it renders their trick useless because even if they did get my redirect script (with their url) indexed, there'd be no point because if people click on the search results (which my page would be in) they won't lead anywhere as the script dies because the HTTP referrer is false :D
The downside is not everyone's browser sends the HTTP referrer (so the script would die for them) - but as my site is aimed at web savvy people they will prob be using modern browsers.
The other thing google recommend is putting your script file in your robotos.txt file which I have done too.
They say to keep an eye on search results for your domain, and if you see your redirect scripts being indexed they're probably getting abused. But as I have disallowed it this should not be a problem.
Thanks again for all your help - you've made me aware of this problem that I didn't even know existed!
To summarise, I think it's safe to use the simpler script, so long as, you don't mind it not working for those people who are using browsers that don't send HTTP referrer (which I would have thought would be a minimal number - I've had no complaints yet but will keep an eye on it and post back if we get anyone complain the links are not working for them).
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