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nas-112-52.slc.navinet.net - - [29/Jan/2000:17:17:12 -0500] "GET page.html HTTP/1.1" 200 23443 "http://www.mydomain.com/page.html" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows 98)"
Referer Log The referrer log contains referral information - source that referred visitor to your site. If referrer was a search engine, you will also find keywords that were entered to find your site - very useful information. Here are some example records. The record below shows that visitor followed a link from somedomain.com to index page of site.
http://www.somedomain.com/page.html -> /
This record shows that visitor came to my site from a search engine link. Notice keyword data is included in record.
http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=design+tips -> /
Agent Log This log provides information on which browser and operating system was used to access your site.
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible;MSIE 5.01; Windows 98)
Error Log The error log obviously provides a record of errors generated by server and sent back to client. The record below shows type of server, date and time of error, client identification, explanation of error code generated by server, and path to file that caused error.
apache: [Sun Jan 30 10:09:57 2000][error] [client 126.96.36.199] File does not exist:/u/web/mydomain/favicon.ico
As you can see, log files contain a wealth of information about how your visitors are using your site. Now we will talk about how you get relevant data extracted from log files and compiled into a useable format.
In Part 3 of this article series, we'll discuss Web Traffic Analysis Software.
Herman Drost is a Certified Web Site Designer (CIW), owner and author of iSiteBuild.com Affordable Hosting, Site Design and Promotion Packages http://www.isitebuild.com
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