Stone Steps Inc.

Article ID: Q20050122-01

Q: What are the default referrer search strings?

A:As of the version 2.4.0.0, the default list of referrer search string argument names has been updated. The new default list of search argument names is as follows:

SearchEngine    www.google.     q=
SearchEngine    www.google.     as_q=All Words
SearchEngine    www.google.     as_epq=Exact Phrase
SearchEngine    www.google.     as_oq=Any Word
SearchEngine    www.google.     as_eq=Without Words
SearchEngine    www.google.     as_filetype=File Type
SearchEngine    search.yahoo.   p=
SearchEngine    search.yahoo.   va=All Words
SearchEngine    search.yahoo.   vp=Exact Phrase
SearchEngine    search.yahoo.   vo=Any Word
SearchEngine    search.yahoo.   ve=Without Words
SearchEngine    search.yahoo.   vf=File Type
SearchEngine    msn.com         q=
SearchEngine    about.com       terms=
SearchEngine    alltheweb.com   q=
SearchEngine    altavista.com   q=
SearchEngine    aol.com         query=
SearchEngine    ask.com         q=
SearchEngine    looksmart.com   qt=
SearchEngine    lycos.com       query=
SearchEngine    netscape.com    query=
SearchEngine    search.com      q=

The example below shows a typical referrer URL using 'q' as a search argument name.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=webalizer+apache

Some entries were removed from the list because their respective search engines no longer use search arguments. For example, excite.com appends the search string to the URL path instead of using search arguments:

http://msxml.excite.com/info.xcite/search/web/webalizer%2Bapache

Note that Stone Steps Webalizer will not use the default list if there is at least one SearchEngine configuration variable defined in the webalizer.conf file.

As of the version 2.3.0.5, search engine parameter names may be configured with optional search type qualifiers, such as Exact Phrase in the list above. Consider following example. The referrer URL below contains two search terms - one specified with q= (free style search) and one specified with as_epq (exact phrase in the advanced search):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=webalizer+apache&as_epq=log+type

Prior to v2.3.0.5, Stone Steps Webalizer only reported the first search string that it found (e.g. webalizer apache). The latest release of Stone Steps Webalizer will report both of these search terms. The search type qualifier will be used to separate individual search terms:

webalizer apache [Exact Phrase] log type

The search type qualifier is color-coded in the reports to make it distinguishable from the actual search terms. You can control qualifier color by changing the style of the span.search_type element in webalizer.css.

If the search type qualifier is omitted, a bullet will be used to separate multiple search terms:

webalizer apache • log type

Multiple search engine entries for the same domain (e.g. google.) must be grouped together in webalizer.conf or a domain-specific configuration file in order for all entries to be evaluated. This behavior ensures reasonable performance, even if the search engine list is fairly long.