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Site Referral from Email Accounts

I’m getting a lot of site referrals in the last two days from Gmail and Yahoo Email and Chat accounts as well as others. The referral links look something like this:

http://us.f353.mail.yahoo.com/dc/launch?action=welco...

http://by113w.bay113.mail.live.com/mail/ApplicationMain_11.00...

http://us.f372.mail.yahoo.com/ym/ShowLetter?MsgId=9992_...

http://mail.multimedian.co.uk/rmail.395...

http://mail.google.com/mail/?view=page&name=gp&ver=34...

If this was random and I’d only had one or two hits from these referrers, then I wouldn’t bring this up. But I’ve many hits from each of these but, as is a major flaw with the WordPress.com stats, I can’t tell what post they are referring to. Unlike a public website or blog, I can’t access the emails to see what is being talked about.

So I make assumptions.

One or more of the articles I’ve written is linked to and probably being talked about via email shared with more than one person. If this was coming only from Yahoo and Google emails, then I might conclude that a link to one of my articles is in one of the Yahoo or Google group message exchanges. But the list includes Google Chat and non-Google and Yahoo mail services.

Check your blog statistics and referrer stats to see if you are finding any similar links, just in case this might be something else that we need to pay attention to. And if you know what they are, please let me know. I’ve always been one to respect the privacy of others, but I really want to dig into their email and find out what they are talking about. ;-) Or at least what post is mentioned.

Update: If you are finding these email style links in your referrers, they are indeed coming from emails. Sometimes they come from emailed newsletters and feeds with links to your blog posts in them. Other times they come from emailed articles from other bloggers who have email newsletters, feeds, and the “email article” feature. Not to worry.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

9 Comments

  1. Posted June 2, 2006 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I really want to dig into their email and find out what they are talking about
    He! He!… Lorelle, you and I have something in common: Site logs voyeurism.

  2. Posted June 2, 2006 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    On Blogger there’s an ‘email post’ icon and occasionally one of my posts gets sent and then I have a referral similar to the ones you listed.
    So it’s possible someone’s emailing a link. Can you tell what page they’re hitting, like a specific post, or the index page?
    I would be sooooo curious too :)

  3. Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    I sometimes see this type of thing in my stats when I’ve left a comment on someone else’s blog. I assume in that case that it’s because they got an automatic email about the comment from their blog app, and clicked on the link to see who I was.

    Have you been chatty lately on other blogs?

  4. Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Sabine: Interesting. I leave comments on blogs all the time, but nothing more or less than usual. This influx is coming all in the same time, about the same time period, from a variety of email/chat sources. So I don’t think it has to do with just one comment I left on a blog, though it could be. Who knows? Good idea!

  5. Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    So funny you should mention this. Recently I had referrals from a javachat based in a writing website. Clicking the link sent me to the chat itself for one second and then to home page of the website. I was able to take a screenshot of the chat, trying to discover if I was being praised or mocked. I suspect too much time had passed because the screenshot revealed nothing but chat out of context to me.

    I lay awake at night wondering what they were saying about me.

    When I get the kind of referrals that you are writing about, I just assume the link was emailed.

  6. Posted June 2, 2006 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I also have had referal links from Gmail and Yahoo mail but not as much as you.

  7. Posted June 2, 2006 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I always assumed it was a link sent by someone else to someone else who then clicked on it in their web-email. When I click on those, I always get a log-in page.

  8. Posted June 2, 2006 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. I don’t have any way with WordPress.com to tell where an incoming referral link is linking to on my blog, but my HTML, CSS, PHP, and More Cheat Sheets article got a huge spike of traffic today. What are the odds? Isn’t that a little bit more than a coincidence?

    I’m making a lot of assumptions but I bet an email went out to a bunch of folks, on a list of some kind, that included a link to that post.

  9. Posted June 3, 2006 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I think you’re right, Lorelle. It sounds as if you’re seeing too much traffic to be from comments you’ve made.

    If only there were some way of finding out what it is you wrote that’s being passed around! When things like that happen, it’s encouraging but frustrating at the same time.


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