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Google.com now has no robots.txt?

     
10:11 pm on Aug 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google
Error

Not Found
The requested URL /robots.txt was not found on this server.
------

Looks like a big "D'oh!" ;)

3:03 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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They probably included something in their algo like
if (url<>www.google.*) then process();

Seems to me like you have too much time on your hands ;)

3:05 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Whoa - that's a major find.

Wouldn't tha be the first major search engine to allow full spider access.

3:08 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The cached version is still there though :).
3:14 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Someday soon we'll be able to search Wisenut for a Google-cached Looksmart page.
3:20 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think it only means an increase in the index.

Google have always been very well on spidering serp's on google.com itself, maybe that's the "the" reason.

Fun thing to do is to enter portals and search engines in google and do a SITE: on them, and see how many of the results they've indexed, then check out the robots.txt on those sites ;)

4:10 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google.com now has no robots.txt

Probably making sure they get well indexed by the next big thing in Internet search... ;)

4:30 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm

How to increase the number of indexed pages in your own search engine?

Erm...Delete the robots.txt file of course!

So next months total number of pages indexed by Google is

6 billion

that should make us the biggest serch engine again.

Never mind Alltheweb, you did beat them for a short while :)

5:02 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Making sure they are indexed properly by Microsofts new 'spider'.....
6:20 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You must all be crazy! It's loading fine for me.

[google.com...]

6:22 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i see it too. looks like a google burp.
6:25 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Try reloading the page. It's there about 3 out of 4 times.
6:33 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...] (no robots.txt)
[google.com...]
7:08 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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google.com (no www) doesn't need a robots.txt because every page there redirects to the same page on www.google.com.
7:15 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So let me get this right...
If google has no robots.txt, it will index all its cached pages, and put them in its cache, with the google header on top. And then next month...

Look out Capn, it's gonna blow!
DerekH

8:01 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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google.com (no www) doesn't need a robots.txt because every page there redirects to the same page on www.google.com

Google doesn't use invisible redirects so while your browser may follow a 301 or 302 redirect, a robot will not.

As it currently stands, any bot looking for a robots.txt on google.com (without the www) will not find one and will have every right under the standards set forth under the robots.txt exclusion protocol to fully spider any portion of their website.

8:40 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...] is a 302 redirect. A spider could index the 302, but there's no "real" content for a spider to index (or links for a spider to follow) at [google.com...]
9:22 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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jesserud,

What you fail to understand is a robot can follow any www.google.com link it finds (or on any subdomain at Google for that matter) if it can't find a robots.txt at google.com. Robots.txt files are not supposed to redirect. Even GoogleGuy would agree with that.

But I think they're working on fixing the problem now.

9:52 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Key_Master is right. This isn't the way things should be.
9:59 pm on Sept 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The robots.txt has been updated to block /answers/search?q= .

I've seen a number of queries in my area where Google Answers were turning up (when the pdf's weren't crowding them out, har har).

6:40 am on Sept 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What you fail to understand is a robot can follow any www.google.com link it finds (or on any subdomain at Google for that matter) if it can't find a robots.txt at google.com.

That makes no damn sense. You're falling for the "example.com == www.example.com" fallacy. It's not true. "google.com" and "www.google.com" are allowed to be completely different servers (content-wise, physically, and administratively). Quoting from that most Holy of SEO Holies, the robots.txt spec [robotstxt.org]:

The method used to exclude robots from a server is to create a file on the server which specifies an access policy for robots. This file must be accessible via HTTP on the local URL "/robots.txt".

"local URL", in this (slightly archaic) instance means "relative URI". google.com/robots.txt is not a relative URI for anything on www.google.com, because they've got different absolute roots.

The only robots.txt that applies to a given URI is the robots.txt accessed using the same fully-qualified domain name. That's the spec, and it's the spec for a damn good reason: managing webservers in the .uk TLD (among others) would be chaos if things were done your way.

6:44 am on Sept 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Surely Google have the ability to control what their own bot indexes on their own site withot having to specify in robots.txt?

I would think the bot has this info programed in?

Mack.

7:07 am on Sept 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Surely Google have the ability to control what their own bot indexes on their own site withot having to specify in robots.txt?

Of course; but given that Google need to use a robots.txt to block other crawlers there is no reason why it should not be the only mechanism in place to stop their own.

7:11 am on Sept 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So if someone gives a link to google serp other bots can follow and index it?
8:27 am on Sept 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So if someone gives a link to google serp other bots can follow and index it?

Not any more; as robots.txt apears to be back in place. Talking about a well behaved bot of course.