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Simulating a bot
Possible to do?

 4:43 pm on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I want to see how googlebot sees a particular page.

Still got this strange problem of google indexing pages, but cacheing a completely different page.

I've used IE with all cookies etc etc disabled.

Anything else I can try to work out what is happening?





 6:02 pm on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

The quickest way I have found to see what the spider sees is by using a good text browser such as Lynx. It is available for most OS platforms. You can also use Sim Spider tool [webdevstore.com]. It shows your text, links, and meta.


 7:17 pm on Nov 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

The old wisdom was that Googlebot saw what Lynx sees. We know that Googlebot is beginning to understand some Javascript (enough to find links in some cases) and some suspect that she is learning enough CSS to detect some forms of invisible text.

So while I do not have any suggestions to answer the immediate question, I am a bit leary of the old assumption that what Lynx sees is what Googlebot sees. The same, obviously, applies to bot simulators.


 4:45 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

but cacheing a completely different page

Any kind of cloack process? (not specifically for se's).
On-session variables involved?
What about visitors, same problem for them?

Also, good sim spider [ranks.nl]


 5:12 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any kind of cloack process?

Yes. And one specifcally for SE's - a 301 redirect in case any SE's come in via a session ID.

We haven't used SID's for some months now, but google seems to still have a few in it's cache.

Any thoughts?

GusR - no sim spider that I could find on that link.


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