Tracking Users By IP Address

Paul Rubin http
Sat Oct 9 01:25:06 CEST 2004

Michael Sparks <zathras at> writes:
> Suppose the following user groups:
>    * Refuse all cookies - can't use cookies to track, IP isn't 100%
>      reliable.
>    * Users accept all cookies, don't care - ideal candidates for sampling
>    * Users generally have cookies enabled, but don't like being tracked.

There are some users who block cookies, but they're rare enough that
using cookies is more reliable than using IP addresses.  Also, if
you're just looking at page views, you don't need persistent cookies,
just session cookies.

Another thing you can do is put a cookie-like tag in the actual URL
(visit Amazon and click around a few times to see how that's done).
But that's not reliable either.  It's especially bad when some
retailer puts a shopping cart ID into the url.  Then some user posts
to a BBS or newsgroup, "hey I got this great deal on a <whatever> at
<url>".  Other users click on the url and get the original user's
shopping cart.

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