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Automated Position Reporting - A way to get banned?

From an article by Robin Nobles in All About Search Engines

     
5:02 pm on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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How do the engines feel about automated queries?

* Google's Terms of Service
(http://www.google.com/terms_of_service.html) states, "You may
not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system
without
express permission in advance from Google. Note that 'automated
queries' includes using any software which sends queries to
Google to determine how a website 'ranks' on Google for various
queries."
* AltaVista doesn't encourage the use of automated queries for
checking positions and have stopped huge infractions. On a small
scale, however, they haven't taken an active position to stop
them.

5:25 pm on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>A way to get banned?

Only the IP that performs the query and only if it is abusive.

>Terms of Service

My terms of service are that I allow them to use my content for free, for their own profit, as long they allow me to use automated queries. I've not had any objections thus far.

10:09 pm on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

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He he, what about blocking an SE for excessive or useless spidering? Ink/AV are both on the blocked list for one site, because it doesn't sell anything, only provide information.

Think about it this way: suppose you are competing for "blue widgets" and they start banning people for automated querying of their db...if you can make it look like you are auto querying for all the sites but yours that sell those 'blue widgets' then bam, you've got yourself a real winner, without having to optimize too hard.

It's kind of like the rumor that over submitting would get you banned: not very smart to do (without hiding your tracks a little), but not a guarantee of any retribution on behalf of the SE.

So IMHO, the article, from the tag line your dropped to start the thread, is a tad off...just imho.

12:54 pm on Oct 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Yes the initial tag line was a bit off - sorry, it was just the way I read the article.

Your responses are sensible and indicate the problems associated with any kind of abuse bans.

6:25 am on Nov 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

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We do automated ranking reports for all our client sites on a monthly basis. It has never caused a problem. It is done in moderation and mostly at night when the US web usage is likely to be lower.
11:23 am on Nov 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hi All!

This depend of program you use to position analyse. These programs divides into two groups - first send queries from you computer (your IP can be banned if you will generate critical number of queries). Second - send queries via own servers (RankMeter for ex.), and return to you only results. So, in second case can be banned only their servers IP, and your IP is absolutely safe.

Good luck

2:41 pm on Nov 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Um, so the engine uses your content and you get to use your queries... so what are you paying for the promotion? They get to use your content again?

Automated queries are a pretty big portion of a search engines expenses. Do the math, number of keywords multiplied by how deep in the results you are (assuming the software doesn't do 10 requests all at once and has no idea you were on page one) multiplied by the size of the results page multiplied by the number of domains you are checking. This doesn't even take into consideration the server power required (and I bet with google a lot goes into an individual search).

Google and other engines could setup a standard way for software to get ranks from them (still have processor overhead but not much of a bandwidth issue anymore... not to mention some companies would probably pay for permission to use the service).