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AOL's Proxy Cache & It's Affect on Stats
Time for a refresher course
seth_wilde




msg:906752
 8:51 pm on Sep 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just switched stats software and our new reports show the average # of pages viewed per visitor broken down by the ISP. On all of our sites AOL is showing up with only a fraction of a page. Since it's not possible for the actual AOL user to only request 1/3 of a page, I'm assuming this has something to do with AOL's proxy cache.

I was hoping that someone could explain if & how the proxy cache is causing this

(ps... I've already checked out AOL's webmaster.aol.com caching faq, but couldn't find an answer)

 

Drastic




msg:906753
 6:56 pm on Oct 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

I just took a look at this myself. I threw up a page yesterday, simple html with a table and 5 images.

Emailed the link to a chick. (Pics of me - no, not that kind.)

I checked the logs to see if she had viewed it, and I got:

spider-mtc-ti023.proxy.aol.com - Got the html page.
spider-mtc-ti023.proxy.aol.com - got the first image.
cache-mtc-af06.proxy.aol.com - got the second image.
spider-mtc-ti023.proxy.aol.com - the the third image.
cache-mtc-ah02.proxy.aol.com - got the fourth image.
spider-mtc-ti023.proxy.aol.com - got the fifth image.

So three different machines got the page/images. No rhyme or reason I can see.

What I would like to know is, what kind of requests (if any) would I get for another user today. I would test it myself, but can't bring myself to installing AOL - just... can't... do... it.

Anyone have AOL installed and want to test this? (Don't be ashamed - just for SEO testing, right? ;) )

seth_wilde




msg:906754
 10:59 pm on Oct 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

I talked to the my stats company after posting this and fortunately they're fixing the whole AOL problem in the next update.

"What kind of requests (if any) would I get for another user today"

I don't have access to an AOL account so I can't be sure. But from their FAQ it sounds like you wouldn't see anything/

some useful quotes

Caches are used to reduce network bandwidth and improve performance. If AOL did not use cache technology, a large part of the Internet backbone would need to double or triple in size

AOL's Proxy cache is updated every 24 hours

The proxy software caches HTML based on the browser's User-Agent strings

AOL's Caching FAQ [webmaster.aol.com]

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