Jump to content


What is the simplest way to track visitors?

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 hyde+


    High Definition

  • Joined: 28-September 07
  • Location: New York

Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:11

I was very surprised when my cousin called me and said "did you just search me online?" apparently his company servers have some advanced tracking which allows him to access a lot of informaiton online, he figured it when he told me nobody else would search him by his nickname from where I am (on IP) with language set that was installed on my computer.

I have a simple personal website where I post links to my linked in, resume, etc.. and I would love to have this functionality. It would cool to see if new employer search for my name online and checked out my credentials.

All I need is which IP, where it is from, which browser, and which search term he used. I remember using phpee phlogger looong time ago but it is not updated anymore, it was extremely simple. I tried google analytics with a simple blank html, did not work that well.

I am going to try this on a personal page hosted on godaddy I think they allow 1 or 2 DBs if an sql is required.

#2 primexx


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 6
  • Joined: 24-April 05

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:30

trackers can use a variety of means to get a lot of information about you. anyone can get the IP address. Javascript is a huge leak of information because it can be used to detect a *lot* of paramaters on your computer itself that can't be detected from the server side. However, even referrer headers can leak information like search terms and useragent strings and accept headers can tell the website what language or sometimes general region you're in. check Panopticlick for an example of how much a tracker can find out about you https://panopticlick.eff.org/

There's not much "advanced" about it as much as simply a lot of different methods put together. This level of granularity is total overkill for a personal website that's not trying to build a profile of individual potential customers. in this case your cousin got lucky from just a couple of pieces of information, but a lot of the time even that much information won't tell you who the visitor is from just one (or even a couple of) hits in your tracking system. it really takes data-mining to get results. So what you're asking for (being able to identify which potential employers are searching your name) is practically impossible and still exceedingly hard even if you already know a lot about a particular potential employer.

For aggregate data that you can use to track general patterns or for optimizing your site, Google Analytics is very powerful. There are open source alternatives like Open Web Analytics or Piwik but they'll be similar functionally. They do tell you the IP, an approximate geolocation, browser, and search terms (if available), but I don't think they link these paramaters for each particular hit.

You might be able to get the panopticlick code and write your own tracking system, but again, way overkill.

As an aside, you should stay far far away from GoDaddy. Basically anyone else is superior.

#3 ShadowMajestic


    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 16-April 10
  • Location: Netherlands
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro 64bit
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:08

I personally track people by server side scripts only. Like the IP, browser they're using. Usually is enough to track individuals.
Where someone is from can be found with the IP, (Geolocation) and the redirection link from Google or Bing(or any search engine) is sent from the client as a header.

I only plant a cookie on the users system to identify who they are. Just a single session cookie required for the site to be operational. Then tie everything I have over the user to his session cookie, ip and browser. So far this seems to work very well.
And because my country requires websites to ask people to accept storing any non site-operational required cookies. And the EU will soon follow with this legislation. My country alone can't do anything to foreign webhosts. But the big players are already giving in to my little country(MS, amazon, etc. Google and Apple don't ... yet). And the EU will have more power behind it :p
Saves me bugging people with "HEY DO YOU WANT ME AND THE REST OF THE INTERNET TO TRACK YOU?!?" or not do so and risk legal issues.

EDIT: I tried the https://panopticlick.eff.org/
It requires Java (don't like that) but I allowed it. Stops loading on IE10 desktop, or rather it loads forever.
IE10 metro however
Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys at least 21.38 bits of identifying information.

#4 primexx


    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 6
  • Joined: 24-April 05

Posted 25 February 2013 - 21:37

it doesn't use java.

#5 Original Poster

Original Poster

    Systems Developer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 08
  • Location: my room
  • OS: windows 7/8, Kali, ubuntu, OSx 10.9
  • Phone: Android

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:37

I use analytics (by google) which allows me to see ALOT of data .. including search words used, countries... towns... operating systems... browsers ect... I dont think it lets me see IPs... but there is a small bit of code you can put in your site to also track IPs and relate it to your analytic data

#6 Sandor


    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 28-November 03
  • OS: Win 8.1

Posted 27 February 2013 - 00:09

Believe you're referring to REMOTE_ADDR

#7 Original Poster

Original Poster

    Systems Developer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 08
  • Location: my room
  • OS: windows 7/8, Kali, ubuntu, OSx 10.9
  • Phone: Android

Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:53

Believe you're referring to REMOTE_ADDR

well yes REMOTE_ADDR is to get the users IP ... but you need more then that to relate it to analytics data

#8 Kami-


    ♫ d(-_-)b ♫

  • Tech Issues Solved: 3
  • Joined: 28-July 08
  • Location: SandBox

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:43

Oh lord, please don't turn this into a 'noobing it with SPEHosting' thread again...

#9 Guth


    Alba Gu Bráth

  • Joined: 30-December 05
  • Location: Scotland
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia

Posted 27 February 2013 - 16:35

watch out for the location via IP thing, mine says I live 500 miles away in england, when i actually live way up north in scotland
I guess its good for which country, but the location, not so much. Maybe this is just a Uk thing though

#10 ShareShiz



  • Joined: 21-June 11

Posted 01 April 2013 - 15:35

Google Analytics