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Old 03-31-2005   #1
DarkMatter
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Google Prefetching for Mozilla Browsers

Googleblog has a post today that reveals they are instructing Mozilla browsers to automatically load the #1 ranked site on your serp so that it'll display fast when you click it. Cool idea.

http://www.google.com/googleblog/200...h-firefox.html

Is this a blatant slap in the face to Microsoft or what?
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Old 04-06-2005   #2
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Interesting

I wonder if this could be related to the topic in this blog.

Has there been any more recent word or rumors that anyone has seen regarding the possibility of a Google browser? perhaps I should start a new thread on this, but it seemed very related to me...

at least this could show what Ben Goodger has been doing for the last couple of months...

Last edited by Chris Boggs : 04-07-2005 at 08:37 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-06-2005   #3
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What a *really* bad idea!

They admit that that it will screw up people's site logs by adding hits that didn't exist. They admit that it will add a cookie to the user's computer if the #1 page plants one, and the only thing that a user can do is delete ALL cookies - or go searching for those that.....well, that's just to silly to continue the sentence. And they admit that it will cause another page to be stored in the computer's cache - again deleting ALL cached pages is the way to get rid of them.

That last one isn't so bad, but what happens if the page does things like add bookmarks, change the home page, etc. I don't think they will occur as long as the page doesn't get displayed - will they?

To my way of thinking, interfering with the log files are the worst effect. What the hell do they think they are doing by taking some control of people's machines and websites like that?

What with autolink and now this, I'm sorely tempted to type in a load of expletives at this point (I know they'd be twinkled out). But what the hell - I am getting angry with that bloody company!
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Old 04-06-2005   #4
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Some more thoughts:-

Some people have voiced concerns that Google wants to control/take over the Web. Until now, I have written that particular idea off as being rather far-fetched. But, for me, this latest innovation is a step too far.

They may or may not want to control the Web, but this latest interference with websites (log files), together with the recent AutoLink interference with webpages, shows that they have no regard whatsoever for other people's property and sites, and that they consider the entire web is there for them to do whatever they want with. They have no qualms about it, and I would say that they have no scruples either.

They don't give a damn that website owners rely on statistics from the logfiles - it's not like they don't know, and they don't give a damn that most of us want our webpages to display as we designed them and not as Google thinks they should be displayed. In fact they don't give a damn about anyone else's property. They ride roughshod over it all, and treat it as their playground.

With their cache system, which acquires images from the cached website, they have stolen from the pockets of website owners from the beginning (cost of the bandwidth for those images). They don't care.

They have managed to get one or more programmes running in millions of our computers (toolbar, desktop search), and today I read in this forum that one of their employees works full-time on the Firefox browser, which they are busy promoting, of course. More ways to interfere with the rest of the world coming from that direction?

Frankly, it's all beginning to look quite sinister and alarming to me. They are busy pushing their programmes into our machines, and at the same time, they show that they are willing to do whatever they like with whatever they want, and without giving a second thought for the rights of anyone else.

Isn't it time for the web community to undo what we did some years ago? We were the ones who made Google popular, by spreading the word. Isn't it time to try and stop them? Heck, AutoLink on its own should inspire us all to do everything we can to stop them. The web community told them of our concerns about it - we even suggested a way to make us happy without them ditching it, and it didn't change a damn thing. This new logfile interference should inspire us even more. We should not let these things go by or they will just keep abusing the web, and us, more and more.

Sorry for the rant, but it's got my back up.

Last edited by PhilC : 04-06-2005 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 04-07-2005   #5
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Just FYI: you can turn the autodownload off quite simply.

1. Type “about:config” the address bar.
2. Scroll down to the setting “network.prefetch-next” and set the value to “False".

I blogged about it here, but hadn't thought of a lot of the other concerns noted in this thread.

Last edited by St0n3y : 04-07-2005 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 04-07-2005   #6
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It seemed like a good idea to me at first, but Phil brings up some great points.....your apparent visits would go up just by virtue of ranking #1 for a search. But from the user perspective this seems like a good thing, theres a very good chance they will click on the first hit.
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Old 04-07-2005   #7
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The simple matter of it altering server logs, click-thru stats (on the receiving end) and browsing history, cookies, etc. (on the user end) just seems to make this a bad idea all around. Really, how much "time" is going to be saved? I know not everybody has high-speed access, but the cost/benefit is just not there. Even as an opt-in option, it certainly does not serve the web community well by changing the server logs adding page views that simply are not there.

Couldn't this also negatively effect Google? Say the #1 site displays Google Ads, well, now those ads are getting increased impressions but not the related number of clicks. Don't ads get pulled if they don't meet a certain click-thru rate? Maybe I'm wrong and the CTR is only on Google itself, not sites displaying the ads.

I'm not steamed over this but I just think its a bad idea.
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Old 04-07-2005   #8
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Frankly, it's all beginning to look quite sinister and alarming to me. They are busy pushing their programmes into our machines, and at the same time, they show that they are willing to do whatever they like with whatever they want, and without giving a second thought for the rights of anyone else.
I been saying this same stuff for years, but then I am just a anti-google wacko.
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Old 04-07-2005   #9
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I've never been anti-Google, but with AutoFink and now this, I am now.

It offers precious little in terms of user benefit. Apparently, the HTML page gets preloaded but not the time-consuming graphics. HTML files are quick to load, so what's the benefit of preloading anyway? The page won't be displayed instantly because of the graphics and other ancilliary files, so there's no real benefit.

Something else occured to me. I've always been against the cache for two reasons, one of which is the cost to the website of sending the graphics every time a cached page is viewed. This preloading costs the website money (bandwidth) every time through sending out the pages. Google fiddles about where they have right to be, and everyone else pays for it!

Imagine you have a #1 ranking for a reasonably popular searchterm. Every time somebody even searches on it with a Mozilla browser, *you* get to pay in bandwidth - money. It could amount to a *very* significant amount of bandwidth.

They say that it will only happen with a certain type of #1 ranking, as though they know that it's wrong, so they are saying that it won't affect most of us. I say that that may be so right now, but as their system improves, so will the spread of the #1s that it will be applied to. I also feel sorry for those who have the #1s that it currently applies to - especially for those #1s for reasonably popular searchterms.

It's so damned unethical and unscrupulous - and I am mad!

Last edited by PhilC : 04-07-2005 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 04-08-2005   #10
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What a *really* bad idea!!
It seems that the only way to stop this is to disable Firefox's prefetch (which is really intended to fetch the next in a sequence of pages on one site; see the Mozilla pre-fetching FAQ). I'd like to be able to block Google via robots.txt; and I'd like to be able to configure Firefox to only apply prefetch to pages within the same domain as the original.
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Old 04-08-2005   #11
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It can be stopped from getting your pages, but it needs to be done serverside, and it needs someone who is slightly technical to do it.

But it should *never* require anything like that.
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