Replace by Referrer 1.0

December 30th, 2006

The WordPress plugin “Replace by Referrer”, written by Charlie Evans, Sr. Developer at Netconcepts, was designed for a client who had advanced tracking capabilities in place but no way to utilize them. When prospect phone calls came in they wanted to know which search engine referred them. Additionally, they wanted to offer a different phone number displayed for each search engine. The Replace by Referrer plugin was developed to automatically replace defined text on pages and posts within content depending on search engine referrer.

If Google refers a visitor to your site, a custom phone number (specific to Google traffic) or a custom link (to a specific Google referred landing page) will be displayed to that visitor. The same technology can be applied to MSN (rebranded as Live Search), Yahoo, and all other search engines as well without having multiple pages for each search engine.

It is completely free and has been released as “open source” under the GPL license. So enjoy!

Features include:

  • Allows you to replace specific text strings in pages and posts with search engine specific referrer content.
  • Session identification specific to search engine. Replace by Referrer remembers which search engine the visitor came from throughout your entire site.
  • And best of all, itâ??s FREE!

Download the plugin!

Installation instructions

  1. Upload replace_by_referrer.php to your wp-content/plugins directory.
  2. Activate the plugin.
  3. Go to Plugin Editor
  4. Click the “Replace by Referrer” file in the right hand column
  5. Scroll down to “// comment about this replacement” (See example below)

    // comment about this replacement
    '' => array(
        'google' => 'google1',
        'msn' => 'msn1',
        'yahoo' => 'yahoo1',
        'default' => 'default1',

    Replace google1, msn1, yahoo1, or default1 with any text string.

    For Example:
    // comment about this replacement
    '' => array(
        'google' => '1-888-207-1109',
        'msn' => '<a href="">netconcepts</a>',
        'yahoo' => '<img src="" />',
        'default' => 'This default text would appear in place of if the referrer is not Google, MSN, or Yahoo',

  6. When you have everything configured, insert within a post or page where ever you want the specified text seen above to appear.

Note: In the example seen above, if Google were the referrer, would appear as “1-888-207-1109”, if MSN were the referrer, would appear as netconcepts, etc.


  • Configure all the referrers and replacements via the WordPress options menu in the Admin, as opposed to hardcoded in the plugin.
  • Modify the code so that you can serve the text string based on referring keyword, as opposed to referring by search engine.


Got a bug to report? Or an enhancement to recommend? Or perhaps even some code to submit for inclusion in the next release? Great! Share your feedback by commenting to this post.


  1. […] We just released a new WordPress plugin, Replace by Referrer, which allows you to track the effectiveness of SEO and other online marketing activities by replacing text on your landing page based on the referrer (i.e. which search engine or site referred the visitor). So, for example, you might want to offer a different toll-free phone number depending on the search engine used by the visitor. That would give you the ability to track the amount of phone inquiries delivered by each search engine. Pretty cool, eh! […]

  2. […] Replace by Referrer is a WordPress plugin for online marketing tracking. It will replace text on a landing page based on the search engine referrer. […]

  3. […] Stephan Spencer over at Netconcepts recently released Replace by Referrer, a new plugin specifically designed for online marketing tracking, that in my opinion is a remarkable addition to WordPress. Basically, It replaces text on landing pages based on the search engine referrer… the possibilities are endless. […]

  4. markus941 says:

    Nice plugin, thanks!

  5. markus941 says:

    I tried this plugin but I think it doesn’t work if you have cache enabled – any thoughts?

  6. Right in the middle of writing new posts on one of my blogs about ideal WordPress plugins for SEO and every single one of yours makes the list.

    In part 2 I’ll be writing about making a WordPress site a CMS and again your plugins will be part of that series as well.

    Great Stuff
    ~ Jared

  7. Richard says:

    Hi, I’ve downloaded the “replace by referer” wordpress plugin, but it only show the default text whatever the page was referred from. I’m using it on WP version 2.5, is there any know bug? thanks & Cheers,

  8. Richard says:

    the plugin work only to the immediate page that jump from a affiliate site, but not any other pages. I tried to make it global and call the global as instructed in the readme file, but no success.can anyone help?

  9. by Richard — August 3, 2008 @ 12:31 pm