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Old 05-05-2005   #1
Qal
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Google Web Accelerator Beta

What is Google Web Accelerator?

Google Web Accelerator is an application that uses the power of Google’s global computer network to make web pages load faster. Google Web Accelerator is easy to use; all you have to do is download and install it, and from then on many web pages will automatically load faster than before.

Please note that Google Web Accelerator is currently in beta test mode. If you have any problems using it or have suggestions for how we can improve it, please see the Google Group devoted to it.

Also note that during the first part of our beta testing period, users outside of North America and Europe may not see much improvement in their web page loading speed.

How does Google Web Accelerator work?

Google Web Accelerator uses various strategies to make your web pages load faster, including:
Sending your page requests through Google machines dedicated to handling Google Web Accelerator traffic.
Storing copies of frequently looked at pages to make them quickly accessible.
Downloading only the updates if a web page has changed slightly since you last viewed it.
Prefetching certain pages onto your computer in advance.
Managing your Internet connection to reduce delays.
Compressing data before sending it to your computer

More Information

I've broadband (512kbps), I tried it but did'nt notice a remarkable difference. Lets see...
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Old 05-05-2005   #2
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Oh btw, do check the 'Privacy Policy' as well...

Quote:
Information that we collect when you use Google Web Accelerator

Google does not require any personal information when you download Google Web Accelerator, although we do collect standard information about your computer, such as the type of browser you use, etc.

When you use Google Web Accelerator, Google servers receive and log your page requests. Page requests and data sent in encrypted form using an HTTPS connection will not go through Google. It is possible that some personally identifiable information could be sent to Google, if the information is sent without using an encrypted (HTTPS) connection.

To enhance Google Web Accelerator's performance, Google temporarily caches cookies from third party sites that are used in your Web requests. For more information, please see our FAQ.

To accelerate delivery of content, Google Web Accelerator retrieves and caches webpages before you request them. Therefore, your Google Web Accelerator cache may include copies of webpages you have not visited. You can clear the cache following instructions in the FAQ.
A definate reason to think again before using it.
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Old 05-05-2005   #3
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good call!

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Old 05-06-2005   #4
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There's a round up of comments on this here:

http://fantomaster.com/fantomNews/ar...lerator-fiasco

And a way to stop it:

http://fantomaster.com/fantomNews/ar...b-accelerator/

I've flagged it up to a few people I know at PPCs, as according to one post it was clicking on PPC links.

Hmm. Google, what are you thinking?

Last edited by KeywordMonkey : 05-06-2005 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Remove random HTML code
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Old 05-06-2005   #5
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So really this is just another attempt for Google to grab at user metrics data??

Somehow it's hard not to see this as another potential kick in the sand at webmasters, as a sort of AutoLink addon feature.
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Old 05-06-2005   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I, Brian
So really this is just another attempt for Google to grab at user metrics data??
I've that feeling, yes.
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Old 05-06-2005   #7
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A thread elsewhere suggested that if Google can see which pages are frequently requested by the tool, it could begin to view those pages more favourably in SERPs. So the tool could be used to gauge the popularit of a page as well as more general surfing habits.

Which means MSN, set as the homepage on millions of PCs, would get a nice boost.
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Old 05-06-2005   #8
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A thread elsewhere suggested that if Google can see which pages are frequently requested by the tool, it could begin to view those pages more favourably in SERPs. So the tool could be used to gauge the popularit of a page as well as more general surfing habits.
Quite possible! I shudder to think of how much google already knows that they had to ask people to submit their home videos as well as browse through them. I'd rather waste an extra hour rather than let these people track my entire digital life down.

Quote:
Which means MSN, set as the homepage on millions of PCs, would get a nice boost.
MSN, quite clearly, is the most-viewed & most-used site, I don't think it'd be much of difference to MSN or any other biggies.

Last edited by Qal : 05-06-2005 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 05-06-2005   #9
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My comment about MSN was in jest...

Some coverage: The Inquirer - How to Block Google’s "web accelerator"

ZDNet: Google Web Accelerator sparks privacy fears
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Old 05-06-2005   #10
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Why is Google doing this?

If the purpose is to speed up web access, then why couldn't all this gzip compression, prefetching, and so forth, be handled on your local drive without going through Google? Wouldn't that be faster? Not everyone lives next door to a Google data center (not yet, anyway), and there is latency when you hop around the web to get stuff from Google. The accelerator installation file isn't exactly lean (1.4 meg), so I don't understand why Google has to broker all of this stuff on their servers.

Google claims that there's no more of a privacy issue with this thing than there is with your ISP. However, I think most ISPs are a bit different than Google.

My ISP has no reason to store it's logs indefinitely. Google has every intention of storing everything about me forever. My ISP rotates their logs regularly, while Google indexes and compresses their logs using globally-unique IDs, and stashes it away for future reference. My ISP is not the world's largest advertiser, but Google is determined to "know more about you" (Eric Schmidt's words) for profiling purposes. My ISP has a real privacy policy, and I believe that they would demand a subpoena before giving out information about my surfing behavior. Google has never suggested that they even require a subpoena from officials, so I have to assume that they have a very cozy relationship with various governments.

All that is from the user's perspective. What about webmasters?

The web accelerator ignores robots.txt. The web accelerator ignores the NOARCHIVE meta. I believe, but have yet to confirm, that it ignores any no-cache pragma headers. It avoids prefetching anything with a question mark in the URL, but what about all those PATH_INFO dynamic links we've been installing for the last four years so that our dynamic pages look like static URLs? Google prefetches many of these, and there are numerous reports that this prefetching, along with some cookie mishandling by Google, is breaking sites out there. Does Google care?

Why isn't there a sitewide opt-out option for this monster? Heck, it's so bloody dangerous for both the user and the webmaster that it ought to be opt-in instead of opt-out.

All webmasters should block this thing. If a user cannot get to your site because of this block, then at least you as a webmaster won't be complicit. We have to protect users from Google's megalomania, because they've been so dumbed-down by Google worship over the last few years that they can no longer think straight.
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Old 05-06-2005   #11
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Everyman, in addition to your ISP comparison I'd like to add that my ISP is operating under Danish law (that's where I live) which gives me MUCH MUCH better privacy protection than US law. This is even more true if you live in Germany. So, please, all Europeans that don't care about the good privacy protection we have here go ahead and transfer all your rights to US LOL What a bloody joke this is!
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Old 05-07-2005   #12
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Everyman,

Quote:
All webmasters should block this thing. If a user cannot get to your site because of this block, then at least you as a webmaster won't be complicit. We have to protect users from Google's megalomania, because they've been so dumbed-down by Google worship over the last few years that they can no longer think straight.
You said it all. I agree completely!

All your points are very valid. We've prioritized google to the point of overshadowing our digital lives completely.
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Old 05-07-2005   #13
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People will talk of blocking Google, but I doubt any site with a commercial interest is going to block anything relating to the largest single source of free referral traffic in the world.

People will grumble and groan, but we're looking at a company that is absolutely dominant in search. And so long as Yahoo! and MSN are slow to catch up, you can bet Google will do everything it can to commercially exploit its dominance.
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Old 05-07-2005   #14
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Further coverage: Google Web Accelerator considered overzealous

Quote:
"Some users of 37 Signals's new BackPack web application started noticing yesterday that their backpacks had been rifled through and a page here and there had simply disappeared. A little digging found Google's new Web Accelerator to be the culprit."
It seems the Accelerator has been clicking the "delete" link...

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Old 05-07-2005   #15
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I, Brian, you don't have to lock it - you can just serve up something "different". I would label that "cache cloaking" and if Google detect this as well as normal cloaking it will not be very risky
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Old 05-14-2005   #16
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Finally, Google puts brakes on Accelerator!
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Old 06-07-2005   #17
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Thumbs up thumbs-Up!

there is a noticeable improvement - especially if you have your Temporary Internet Files set to the absolute Minimun (to save space)

Just Stop the accellerator when you have to Log-In to Something

This beta will probably be tweaked in the coming months - but the idea is valid
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