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Why Did Google Rate My Products in Xcart

 9:47 pm on Apr 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have an xcart store with about 150 products that I launched about a week ago and I found that a user with this ip address rated 80% of my products with 1 star. As a new site, this caused the ratings for a lot of my products to drop significantly across the site.

Which is no big deal because I can delete ratings from spammers, competitors, etc. and have already removed ratings from the ip address.

What I found curious, though, was that the ip address belongs to Google. If all products were rated the same I would think this was googlebot but some products were rated with 3, 4, even 5 stars but most were rated with 1 star.

Why would Google be rating my products? Is this a person or a bot? If a person, why would they take the time to rate products on my site, what good would it do them? If a bot, why would it rate products, and especially why would it rate them differently?



 10:33 pm on Apr 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

they gave the ratings on your site or on Google shopping?

if it was on your site, I would suspect IP address spoofing and a bot doing the work.


 11:57 pm on Apr 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah it was on my site directly. Users can click a star image to rate a product (1 to 5 stars). I did a search on google for the ip address and it seems to be googlebot.

I dont know how or why googlebot would rate products, and why it would rate them differently.

What do you mean by ip spoofing? You think its not really googlebot, just someone using that ip address under the cover of googlebot?


 1:59 am on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

You need to Disallow the "rate this product" link URLs (or the form URL if the rating is done by submitting a form) in your robots.txt file in order to prevent Googlebot (and others) from fetching them -- "clicking them" in other words.

Are the 'stars' links ordered from one to five left to right or top to bottom? It'd be interesting to know which 'star' link they found first on the page.



 8:30 am on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah it was on my site directly. Users can click a star image to rate a product (1 to 5 stars). I did a search on google for the ip address and it seems to be googlebot.

You shouldn't allow spiders to use forms. You do have a form for the rating don't you? Because if spiders can vote they can also purchase items and is not what you want.

Typically shopping carts generate a session for visitors but they don't for spiders. Then the session is verified before processing a form. I would suggest to check your shopping cart application or whatever module processes the rating. Could be a bug.


 8:41 am on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Jim, you were right about googlebot crawling the links for the stars. I thought it was javascript that googlebot wouldnt pick up but I have disallowed those links now per your suggestion.

Thanks enigma for suggesting doing the same for the cart and other forms on the site.

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