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AltaVista is back in log files



2:52 pm on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have quite a number of searches in our log files from AltaVista over the last few days. They are over a wide scope of B2B terms. It has been a rare past occurrence, so to have this many referrals must signal something. Any thoughts on this?


12:13 am on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Their results IMO are now the most relevant in the business. Now if they could tone down the sponsor's results just a bit they would put G out of IPO fervor.


4:10 am on Nov 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

AV has been on the move!

I'm getting referrals from them as well.

Go AV!


8:34 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

altavista is not only back in my logfiles -
their crawlers actually consume more than 85% of my
traffic - grabbing the same (huge) multimedia files
over and over.

right now altavistas crawlers are consuming several hundred
gigabytes. is anyone seeing the same? although i like altavista - if they continue im afraid that i have to ban their robots - the traffic they cause doesnt hold against the few referrals from this search engine (although i cant complain about the rankings ...)

here are the crawler id's/UA's:

any ideas? (or promises from altavista? :)


9:00 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


We have a new robots.txt forum [webmasterworld.com] where you could ask about keeping Scooter out of your large multimedia files, but allow it to crawl your other pages.

It'll be interesting to see what the AV-bashers have to say if the recent changes at G drive significant search traffic over to AV... I'm kinda glad to see an old friend back, myself.


[edited by: jdMorgan at 9:09 pm (utc) on Dec. 9, 2003]


9:01 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yahoovista listings anyone? :)


9:03 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You might want to check out Yahoo!, I think they are flashing AV listings now, been in and out today.


9:08 pm on Dec 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

jdmorgan -
thank you for the info - im actually trying to figure out if this is a new trend or not ... i guess the big question is: will the referrals/quality of altavista improve - or should we better ban their crawlers right now.
is anyone seeing the same?

and - the user agent is NOT scooter - the machines are listed above - the new user agent is "3.3.vscooter".
the crawler/grabber is "only" interested in multimedia files - if you have large image collections or huge video or audiofiles - beware!

actually there were other threads indicating bad behavior by the very same agent at:

another resource includes:

eventually we really have to block the entire thing -
not a clever idea from altavista. i can not appriciate it if they hit the same huge files over and over (most likely the get confused with all the mirror domains we own...)

More Traffic Please

3:48 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As long as we are talking about AV, I used to be in their index for a long period of time. Now, it appears that I am not at all. Are they still picking up sites from their free submit option, or is the only real way to get in via express submit?


9:09 pm on Dec 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

another piece of information that you might find useful:

action: i have deactivated/rerouted most of my mirror domains and i have banned altavista from my multimedia folder via robots.txt.

result: the bandwith consumed from altavistas multimedia
crawlers has been greatly reduced (from several gigabytes
to a few hundred megabytes)

conclusion: 1 - altavistas crawler are NOT capable to identify multiple instances of the same file BEFORE they download the entire thing (not sure if they do it afterwards either ...) - this could be a loophole to get multimedia content into altavista
2 altavistas crawler do not follow the robots.txt protocol - or it takes some time before they reread the file - another flaw in altavista's technology
3 i wrote to them two weeks ago (corporate marketing) and i am still awaiting an answer - their customer relationship management is not very responsive ...


10:45 pm on Dec 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hmm ...

In November a whopping 0.55% of my referrals came from AV. So far in December they are down to a more sustainable 0.4%.

Month after month Google plus Ink (plus, obviously, partners of both) give me around 95% of my SE traffic.


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