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Is there a way to track the identity of someone clicking an outbound link? A site I am referring business to does not have an affiliate program, so I'd like to track the identities of the people I send to their site, not just the number of clicks.

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I suppose you technically could with precise IP logs... but that'd be kinda creepy/unethical IMO. – AndrettiMilas Nov 18 '11 at 21:41

Yes and no. It all really depends on your site and how things are set up.

For example, Facebook, Twitter, and Google all do this already. They present you with a link (i.e. http://mysite.com) and you click the link. But you're really going to something like http://google.com/fancy-link-click-tracking-system.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fmysite.com.

This intermediate page logs the activity. On a quick glance, you could log:

  • User agent
  • IP address
  • Referring page (where the link was clicked)
  • Total click count for this link

You just need to set up a system like that on your site. I did a quick search and found at least one plugin that might help:

Now the yes and no part.

You want to track "the identity" of someone clicking an outbound link. But really, you can only log what information you already have. So if a random visitor is clicking the link, you can only track their browser information (the bullet points above, plus some other information).

If you're requiring users to log in before they click these links, then you have some more control. The browser will have a cookie that WordPress uses to identify the user ... you can also use this on the server side to figure out who it is clicking the link and track their information.

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EAMann - Thank you! This is exactly the information I was looking for. MJLK Link Tracker looks like it should work. I searched for a while and did not see that plugin, so thanks again. – Michael Nov 18 '11 at 21:53
If this helped, please up-vote the answer and mark it as the accepted answer as well ... – EAMann Nov 18 '11 at 21:56

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