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Is Google watching us?


Saelanna
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I've noticed, on more than a few occasions, that "Google" is listed on the list of active users looking at this site. You can't click on the name, unlike the other listed active users, and (I don't know why) it feels a bit sinister! Shall I get my tin foil hat now? :$

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If you manage to kill Googlebot, you'll get the title "World Renowned", a special cosmetic outfit, a cozy room in a hotel near you (bars in front of window included) and a brand new serial number!

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I used to run admin for a forum, and, while it's relatively harmless on the surface, it's a bit of good-and-bad overall. The crawlers feed the search engines, which help those outside the site quickly locate topics here (as well as the site itself), but, on the other hand, it's somewhat creepy to have the companies that run the engines prowling about without a say-so from the administrator. Poor manners, really, especially MueR hadn't submitted the site yet.

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If they would only start crawling a site when the owner approves, they would be useless. Three quarters of the internet would not be found if that were the case. Any site administrator knows (or should know) that it is easy to block a search engine by means of a robots.txt file.

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If they would only start crawling a site when the owner approves, they would be useless. Three quarters of the internet would not be found if that were the case. Any site administrator knows (or should know) that it is easy to block a search engine by means of a robots.txt file.

Throw in a few meta tags on specific pages and search engine access can be fine-tuned to the nth degree.

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Just seen Facebook here as well. This site's already having the big players looking in. :D

(not to mention the boost in user numbers... German part, in relation, seems just as busy as on the CM forum, hah)

How come they show up as "users"? Do they use a special crawler that identifies itself, or does the forum software recognize them?

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The forum software can recognise them. Google (and any decent spider) will identify itself by using a custom User Agent string. That usually also contains an URL detailing what they do and how to get rid of them ;)

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Example of how it looks on the serverside:

66.220.156.250 - - [08/May/2011:02:21:54 +0200] "GET /forum/topic/32-show-us-your-favourite-cosmetic-outfit/ HTTP/1.1" 200 17677 "-" "facebookexternalhit/1.1 (+http://www.facebook.com/externalhit_uatext.php)"

That's the IP they connect from, the time they connected, the 'resource' they were asking for, the response code (200 means 'OK'), the size of the response (17677 bytes), the referrer ('-' means empty) and last but not least their identification string, indicating there's more info to be found at http://www.facebook.com/externalhit_uatext.php :)

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Facebook groups like they existed before are being discontinued by FB.

"FB group" is now ment for small gathering of people, if one expects high number of participants/wants to promote their site, organisation or company, making a page is recommended.

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