How to hide referrer of a shortened URL?

Started 2 months ago by Milad Azami in Linko Tutorials, Link Management

Learn what is a hide referrer and how to hide the referrer of a short URL.

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What is an HTTP referrer?

An HTTP referrer is a message sent from a visitor's browser to a server when they request a web page. It contains information about the previous webpage the visitor was viewing.

Now you might wonder how you can hide this referrer from being exposed on the next website/webpage. Well, you can achieve this by using a URL shortener which has a hide referrer feature.

How to hide referrer using Linko?

Hiding a referrer using Linko is very easy and you can do it with a couple of clicks. We have made this feature completely free for all users, you just need to create a free account.

Follow these instructions,

  1. Login to your account,
  2. Go to the URL shortening section,
  3. Paste your URL,
  4. Click on the advanced icon,
  5. Click on the hide referrer,
  6. Select Yes from the drop-down menu.

Hide Referrer


What are the use cases, pros and cons of a hide referrer?

There are different reasons and use cases for using a hide referrer feature. I will list some pros and cons of using a hide referrer and why people choose to use a hide referrer.

Pros

  1. Increased privacy: Hiding your referrer can help prevent websites from tracking your browsing history and identifying you across different sites.
  2. Enhanced security: In some cases, hiding the referrer can make it more difficult for attackers to track the origin of your clicks and determine your browsing behavior.
  3. Preventing content scraping: Concealing the referrer can make it more difficult for websites to identify and scrape content from other sites without permission.
  4. Reduced targeted advertising: Masking the referrer can lead to fewer targeted ads by preventing advertisers from accessing information about users' online activities.
  5. Protecting affiliate links: Affiliates may cloak referrers to prevent others from hijacking their referral commissions by replacing their affiliate ID with their own.

Cons

  1. Reduced functionality: Some websites rely on referrer information for legitimate purposes, such as tracking referral sources or implementing security measures. Hiding the referrer may disrupt these functions and lead to a degraded user experience.
  2. Reduced website analytics accuracy: When using a hide referrer, website owners might have less accurate data about their user traffic sources, potentially hindering their ability to understand user behavior and optimize their website accordingly.
  3. Ethical considerations: In some cases, concealing your referrer might be considered unethical, especially if it involves bypassing affiliate tracking agreements or intentionally disrupting website functionality.
  4. Suspicions raised: Concealing the referrer may raise suspicions or trigger security measures on some websites, leading to increased scrutiny or even blocking of access.

But, why would users of URL shorteners want to hide referrers?

People who are using URL shorteners are mostly digital marketers, social media marketers, affiliate marketers and online website owners.

So, individuals in these fields who usually might use a hide referrer feature could be due to the reasons mentioned below,

  1. Protect their affiliate income: By hiding the referrer, they can prevent ad agencies or affiliate platforms from tracking conversions originating from their shortened links, potentially affecting their earnings.
  2. Conceal traffic sources: They might also want to keep their traffic sources private from third-party websites, such as competitors, affiliate platforms or entities they don't wish to share audience data with.

Therefore, if you are shortening 3rd party websites' URLs and sending traffic to them, you can hide the referrer in your short links (at your own risk).

But, if you are shortening your own websites/products/services URLs and sending traffic to your websites, then we don't recommend using a hide referrer since it can hinder your ability to analyze and optimize your marketing efforts.

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