chrislloyd515 - 6:21 am on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)
I've been seeing some unsettling behaviour recently with accessing google.com through VPNs, presumed it was a bug at first, but it's been present for over 2 weeks now.
In order to get accurate USA positioning I have to view google.com though a USA VPN, I have access to 9 servers (a mix of a commercial VPN offerings and my own private servers... not a VPS, a private server!)
I have used this approach to get USA rankings for a few years now, but in the past few weeks I've noticed that google is redirecting google.com visits to google.com.hk or google.it or google.co.in. Essentially identifying my VPNs as Chinese, Italian or Indian.
If it is any help my servers are located in New York State, Texas and Los Angeles. All but one now being identified as a random non-USA visitor.
Thinking that google.com may have a way to identify that I'm visiting through a VPN I even used lynx on one of my Texas servers to access google directly, so no VPN involved, google.com still detected me as chinese.
The standard things I've checked:
- No cookies from Google at all, all browsing data removed when switching from direct connection to VPN, even used firefox's privacy mode
- Checked IPs of my servers against every geo-IP database and every one identifies me correctly as USA
- Tried OpenVPN and PPTP VPN protocols and a simple proxy, all showing same behaviour
Anyone else seen this, or have additional information?