Google Referrer Checker: A WordPress Plugin from Gunner Technology


Google Referrer Checker is based on an idea and script from Russ Jones (@rjonesx) on SEOMoz.

Here is how he describes it:

We often joke that “Google knows everything.” While we can lament the loss of privacy and liberty, there is one thing that I do want Google to know about – my links. I want them to know about as many links pointing to my site as possible. Unfortunately, Google misses out on a good portion of the web. Well, what if you could find links that Google hasn’t necessarily found, and then make sure that Google does index them and count them?

If you were go into your Google Analytics right now and export all of the pages that have sent visitors to your site since your website’s inception, what percentage of them do you think will have been indexed by Google? 90%, 95%, 99%? Sure, it will probably vary from site to site, especially given how many different sites out there have sent traffic to you, but there are likely to be a handful that Google never got around to crawling. Our goal with this first set-it and forget-it tactic is to find the pages that refer traffic to your site on-the-fly and make sure if they have a link, that Google knows about it.

Ideally, our automated the script would:

* Record every referrer from other sites.
* Spider that site to see if it actually has a real, followed link.
* Check to see if Google had cached that referring page with the followed link.
* Coax Google to reindex that page if it had not yet found the link.
* Continue to check to see if Google had cached the referring page.

This is actually quite easy to accomplish programmatically. The first three steps are done every day by tools regularly used by SEOs. The only difficult part is finding a way to encourage Google to visit the referring pages it has not yet indexed. We can solve this by simply having a widget on the page that displays those referrers, essentially an “As Seen On” bulleted list of pages that had linked to your site, but had not yet been indexed.

This plugin does just that. And adds a simple widget that will display the unindexed links.

If you have any questions, want a feature added or anything else, please leave a comment below.

To download the plugin, head to the WordPress Codex.


About Cody Swann

Cody Swann is an entrepreneur, developer, strategist, banged up ex-football walk-on, retired body builder and former journalist born and raised in South Florida. He currently splits his time between his hometown of Stuart, FL and Los Angeles, CA. Cody founded Gunner Technology, a highly sought after digital agency, specializing in helping companies maximize profits through custom web development, technology efficiencies, social media strategy and search engine marketing. As a manager and developer at ESPN for nearly six years, Cody led development and vision for two of ESPN’s most popular online features: Sports Scoreboards and GameCasts. Additionally Cody oversaw all aspects of MyESPN and ESPN’s social network, ESPN Fan Profiles. Cody worked with Technology, Editorial, Sales, Marketing and relevant business stakeholders to mold ESPN’s social media strategy, develop custom applications for it and execute it. Under his direction, ESPN successfully ported large portions of its core product from a proprietary Java stack to an open source Ruby on Rails stack, capable of standing up and performing under the tremendous load world's most popular sports site delivers. Cody began forging his technological knowledge more than 10 years ago, developing and designing websites in college. His development work has included web development, web design, content writing, digital photography and digital video production for award-winning sites like, and He has helped set digital strategy and direction for companies in the New York Times Regional Newspaper group, ESPN, ABC and Disney. He is a recognized expert in web development, social media strategy, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, analytics tracking and business planning. He has worked with large interactive media companies to small and medium sized businesses. Cody motivates and inspires creative teams to deliver superb, polished work under tight deadlines.

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