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Can we have a way to see referrers for a specific question?

Someone recently linked an answer I wrote on stackoverflow. I was curious from where it was linked.

Does anyone know if it's possible to get that data?

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marked as duplicate by Won't Nov 13 '12 at 19:07

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How do you know it was linked? –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 12 '12 at 21:06
    
I'd say Google is the fastest way. Afaik Stack Overflow can't really keep track of external links pointing to it. –  Shadow Wizard Aug 12 '12 at 21:08
    
I suspect it was linked because it was sitting at 13 and then it jumped to 36 in the span of 12 hours after being originally posted on July 16. –  OmnipotentEntity Aug 12 '12 at 21:10
    
Lots of things can drive traffic to a question. With 23 new views, what kind of web site would you expect a link to only drive that much traffic? –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 12 '12 at 21:18
    
No, not 23 new view, ~23~ 26 new upvotes, somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000-15,000 new views. –  OmnipotentEntity Aug 12 '12 at 21:19
    
Ah, I see. Expressing units along with numbers is always helpful. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 12 '12 at 21:21
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@ShaWizDowArd, I don't know if SE does keep track (but I would, if traffic is that important), but surely the HTTP REFERER header gives such details for many cases. –  Arjan Aug 12 '12 at 21:22
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The answer is Reddit. Always. –  Won't Aug 12 '12 at 22:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's a feature request for that: Can we have a way to see referrers for a specific question?

TOPSY has some Twitter trackback details, and I guess there's similar sites that to do the same for Reddit and the like.

A search on Reddit itself shows a mention for the above example too.

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Nice find! Also, the question got edited which means back to the front for some time. –  Shadow Wizard Aug 12 '12 at 21:33
    
Still, you want Jeff to tweet. ;-) –  Arjan Aug 12 '12 at 21:36

The question was linked from reddit and got some attention there, resulting in quite a few views and votes (16,032 referrals from reddit today).

Is it possible for us to see the referrers for our traffic? Yes. Is it cheap? No. There's a lot of HTTP log data (~50 GB/day storing just the top attributes we care about) and running queries on it isn't lightning fast...so I wouldn't imagine we'll expose this data in any kind of real-time way. Exposing something like a daily aggregate view would be possible, but not a quick development effort and way, way down the priority list (lots of big fish frying back in the kitchen at the moment).

I can't say for sure we'll ever expose this data in the UI, but as far as is it possible? yeah sure. Just remember most things are possible, but there are costs to every feature as well.

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Aha, not cheap. Isn't that a status declined then for Can we have a way to see referrers for a specific question? –  Arjan Aug 12 '12 at 21:58
    
@Arjan - so it's not completely a declined, there is data that's cheap from when you link a question, e.g. /q/123/<userid>, that's stored in the site's database with referrer as well...we could potentially show that at some point with proper indexing. As for the general purpose logs? Yeah that's a no for several reasons, not the least of which being we punish that DB server severely when querying older than 7 days (PCIe SSD vs. massive spinny disk array switch over). –  Nick Craver Aug 12 '12 at 22:01

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