Friday, May 06, 2005

Google Accelerator Can Wreck Web Apps/Stats

The accelerator scours a page and prefetches the content behind each link. This gives the illusion of pages loading faster (since they’ve already been pre-loaded behind the scenes). Here’s the problem: Google is essentially clicking every link on the page — including links like “delete this” or “cancel that.” And to make matters worse, Google ignores the Javascript confirmations. So, if you have a “Are you sure you want to delete this?” Javascript confirmation behind that “delete” link, Google ignores it and performs the action anyway.

I’ve also been investigating whether its effect on web analytics software. Will a prefetch be counted as a page view even if the user never visits that page?


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