Just what is a transfer log file?
Each time someone surfs over to your home page, the web server (the program that sends HTML files and graphic images to web surfers) makes a note in a log file. Among other information, the note contains the date and time of the visit, the Internet address of the person viewing the site and the page viewed. Each request of a page, image, audio clip or any other item is recorded in the log file so that you can count how many visitors your site received and what pages they went to.
Do I have a transfer log file?
The web server log file is generated by the web server software running your site. Just about all web servers are able to create a transfer log file, but in some cases this ability is turned off. If you are hosting your web site with a commercial hosting provider, you can usually ask them to enable transfer logging for your site (some hosting companies charge extra for this service).
If your hosting company provides you with a page showing how many visitors came to your site in the past week or month and where they came from, then they are keeping a transfer log file. Just ask them how to download it and you'll be all set to do a move announcement for your site!
What kind of transfer log file do I need?
We can handle most kinds of log files, but our automated entry form expects a log file in either Combined Log Format (aka Extended Common Log Format or ECLF), or a Referrer Log file. ECLF log files look something like this when you view them directly:
cache-rm09.proxy.aol.com - - [15/Aug/2001:10:27:24 -0700] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 7266 "http://example.net/linking-page/" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows NT)"This is similar to another format called Common Log Format (CLF), but contains another two critical pieces of information in each line. The first of those extra fields, the referrer, is essential for Move Announcer as it says which link someone clicked on to get to your site.
The other format handled automatically is the Referrer Log format, which looks like this:
http://example.net/linking-page/ -> /and often has a name similar to referrer_log, referer_log or something similar.
If you are using Microsoft IIS, you probably have logs in W3C Extended Log File Format. This format looks something like this:
It is important that the cs(Referer) field be present in the log file. You can use this log for a move announcement as well. Once you have filled out the move announcement information form, just contact us to let us know you are using this format.
How do I find my transfer log file?
The best way to find your transfer log file is to ask your hosting company where it is located. If your web server software is Apache, then your transfer log file is usually called access_log, or some variant like yourdomain-access-log. On a UNIX server, it is sometimes called /var/log/httpd/access_log.
How do I get my transfer log file to Move Announcer?
Once you know where your transfer log file is located on your web server, you need to get it to your local computer. You will probably need to use FTP or your web browser to download the file. If there is a special URL you can type in to your browser to view the raw log file (so it looks like the example above), then you can choose your browser's Save As option to save the file to your local computer.
Once your log file is on your local computer, just use the Browse button on the move announcement entry form to select that file. When you press Submit, the file will be sent to our system for analysis.
If your log file is large (more than a few hundred KB), you may want to compress it to make it faster to send to us. We support zip, gzip, and bzip2 compression formats. If you use the zip format (created by programs like WinZip), then only place one log file into the zip file. If your log file is still large (more than about 1 MB, or 1,000,000 characters) even after compression, then please contact us first. Depending on how many visitors your site gets in a month, you may want to upload only a portion of your log file.
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