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Re: STILL Paging Google...

  • From: Matthew Elvey
  • Date: Thu Nov 17 02:48:02 2005


Ok, the bug is still there. Received replies from helpful folks who missed various parts of my posts. I'll stop posting about this now; it is indeed a bit OT. As I said in my initial post: I'm looking for a fix, not a workaround, and again: See
http://www.google.com/webmasters/remove.html
The above page says that
User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*?
will block all standard-looking dynamic content, i.e. URLs with "?" in
them.

On 11/16/05 11:44 AM, Michael Loftis sent forth electrons to convey:
I think that maybe googlebot parses robots.txt in order, so it's seeing your USer-Agent: * line before it's more specific line and matching that.

I'm not saying googlebot is right doing that, just saying maybe that's what it's doing. Try reordering your file?
Could be, but their documentation, as I mentioned, specifically says otherwise.

Michael Dillon wrote:
[put dynamic content in cgi-bin and have robots.txt block it]
...
When something doesn't work, the correct operational
response is to fix it.

AGAIN, I'm just asking Google to comply with the documentation they provide!
In other words, Googlebot is broken; it doesn't do what its documentation it claims it will do.
The correct operational response is for Google to fix it. Whether they change the code or the documentation is their choice. I'd say allowing * to be special is a change worth making, despite the robustness principle. (FYI, IETF does from time to time knowingly make changes that are not backwards-compatible.)
Oh, and a ? in an URL has been a near-certain sign of dynamic content for a decade
Oh, and I'm not a MediaWiki developer...

Niels Bakker wrote:
robots.txt is about explicitly spidering your site; Google will still follow links from outside towards your website and index pages linked that way.[...]
No, the robot.txt is being violated. There aren't ~40,000 links to the site. Only around 130, according to
http://www.google.com/search?q=link%3Awiki.fastmail.fm

On 11/16/05 8:49 AM, Mike Damm sent forth electrons to convey:
Could you please give me the URL to your robots.txt?

It was implied, below. (Oh, and they removed it from my webmasterworld forum post; it was in there initially.)
On 11/15/05, Matthew Elvey <matthew@elvey.com> wrote:
(http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awiki.fastmail.fm)
http://wiki.fastmail.fm/robots.txt

On 11/16/05 7:44 AM, Bill Weiss sent forth electrons to convey:
I attempted to respond on Nanog, but I don't have posting privs there it
seems.  What I tried to send then:

http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots.html

Specifically, http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/faq.html#robotstxt covers the
problem you're having.

To paraphrase: you don't get wildcards in the Disallow section.  Fall back
on using the META tags that do that sort of thing, or reorg your website
to make it possible without wildcards.

If you would forward this to the list for me, I would appreciate it.
Bill: you're right, except that Google has defined and documented an extension, as I mentioned.


On 11/15/05 5:23 PM, William Yardley sent forth electrons to convey:
On Tue, Nov 15, 2005 at 04:56:12PM -0800, Matthew Elvey wrote:


Still no word from google, or indication that there's anything wrong with the robots.txt. Google's estimated hit count is going slightly up, instead of way down.
Did you try abuse@google.com? I've had good luck there in the past with
crawl related issues.
Yup.  Emailed 'em on my last post.
Also, there were some folks from Google at the last NANOG meeting - look
near the top of the attendee list, and there is someone whom I believe
works on security stuff - googling should turn up her email address
pretty quickly.
Thanks. I'll hit some google folks directly. I just know someone in the gmail area-pretty far removed.




--On November 15, 2005 4:56:12 PM -0800 Matthew Elvey <matthew@elvey.com> wrote:


Still no word from google, or indication that there's anything wrong with
the robots.txt. Google's estimated hit count is going slightly up,
instead of way down.
Why am I bugging NANOG with this? Well, I'm sure if Googlebot keeps
ignoring my robots.txt file, thereby hammering the server and
facilitating s pam, they're doing the same with a google other sites.
(Well, ok, not a google, but you get my point.)


On 11/14/05 2:18 PM, Coyle, Brian sent forth electrons to convey:
Just thinking out loud...

Have you confirmed the IP addresses of the Googlebot entries in your log
actually belong to Google?

/paranoia :)
The google search URL I posted shows that google is hitting the site.
There are results in there that point to pages that postdate the
robots.txt that should have blocked 'em.
(http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awiki.fastmail.fm)


On 11/14/05 2:09 PM, Jeff Rosowski sent forth electrons to convey:
Are you trying to block everything except the main page?  I know to
block everything ...
No; me too. See
http://www.google.com/webmasters/remove.html
The above page says that
User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*?
will block all standard-looking dynamic content, i.e. URLs with "?" in
them.

On Mon, 14 Nov 2005, Matthew Elvey wrote:

Doh!  I had no idea my thread would require login/be hidden from
general view!  (A robots.txt info site had directed me there...)
In particular http://www.searchengineworldDOTcom/robots/robots_tutorial.htm
  It
seems I fell for an SEO scam... how ironic.  I guess that's why I
haven't heard from google...

Anyway, here's the page content (with some editing and paraphrasing):

Subject: paging google! robots.txt being ignored!

Hi. My robots.txt was put in place in August!
But google still has tons of results that violate the file.

http://www.searchengineworld.com/cgi-bin/robotcheck.cgi
doesn't complain (other than about the use of google's nonstandard
extensions described at
http://www.google.com/webmasters/remove.html )

The above page says that it's OK that

# per [[AdminRequests]]
User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*?*

is last (after User-agent: *)

and seems to suggest that the syntax is OK.

I also tried

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*?
but it hasn't helped.



I asked google to review it via the automatic URL removal system
(http://services.google.com/urlconsole/controller).
Result:
URLs cannot have wild cards in them (e.g. "*"). The following line
contains a wild card:
DISALLOW: /*?

How insane is that?

Oh, and while /*?* wasn't per their example, it was legal, per their
syntax, same as /*?  !

The site as around 35,000 pages, and I don't think a small robots.txt
to do what I want is possible without using the wildcard extension.










--
"Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors
into trouble of all kinds."
-- Samuel Butler




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