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PeoplePal and Web Analytics

PeoplePal String in User Agent

3:40 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member

joined:May 18, 2009
posts: 3
votes: 0

I work with many thousands of User Agent strings daily and run them through scripts with the goal of determining Platform (OS) and Browser family/version.

Many visits come with the "PeoplePal" string in them ... for example (this is only an example of many variations):

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506; PeoplePal 7.0) w:PACBHO60

Per [home.peoplepc.com...] PeoplePal is a helpful toolbar - by other accounts it is malware that should be removed.

MY questions:
(1) Is traffic that contains the "PeoplePal" user agent string coming from a "background" activity of some sort or is it the result of a surfer really coming to my site?

(2) Will ALL traffic from this browser to my site contain the "PeoplePal" user agent string or only traffic that comes from actually using the PeoplePal toolbar?

In short, I'm trying to figure out how to classify the many visits I get from a variety of "PeoplePal" user agent strings.

ADVthanksANCE for any guidance you can offer ... I've lurked here for years and it's been really helpful, but the "search" didn't turn up much on PeoplePal ...


12:33 pm on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 14, 2004
votes: 1

There's no evidence on the web (that I can find) that indicates that PeoplePal does prefetching. It's just a toolbar like the Google toolbar, looks like. People using PeoplePC service get persuaded to install it. If it's installed, it will appear in their UA string along with all the other UA add-ins they may have.

It's probably a helpful tool to people, in the same way that Google Toolbar is.

It's probably malware (whatever that is), in the sense of collecting more information about a person's browsing than maybe they would like (a lot like Google Toolbar).

It may even skew search results display to its users, in favor of its partners. You could call that malware too I guess. Sorta like the Google toolbar.

But if your question is whether you should block these visitors, that would not be in your best interest. If you want to know whether to count them as real visitors, I think the answer is yes.

These toolbars come and go in the UA string. Six months ago it was something else.