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robots and .js and .css

do robots read linked stylesheets and javascript??

     
4:03 pm on Aug 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

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i'm ignorant here and would value some help.

i notice that the SE spiders don't seem to ask for my linked .css files, is this because livestats who i use don't show me that info or are SE spiders only interested in my pages without the style formatting (and external .js files)

4:08 pm on Aug 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

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good question.

i can't think of a good reason why a robot would want to read your css files. why bother? when there are millions of sites to spider, the robots have enough on their plate as it is.

4:24 pm on Aug 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

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As far as I've heard, there is no routine spidering of .js or .css files from any search engine. There have been a few "scares", and I've read an interview where a Google engineer said that they "reserve the right" to spider them in the future.

It is challenging to run automated processing for .css and .js files. Imagine the chaos of trying to run buggy javascripts from wherever and allover - to say nothing of intentionally maliscious script. This makes me feel that it's unlikely in the immediate future. I'd also imagine that we'd see some smaller scale trials before anything that affected the ranking algorithms actually went live.

One reason that SEs might want to check out these files — using CSS and JavaScript there are many possibilities for serving content to the spiders that is hidden from the human visitor, and thereby manipulating the rankings. However, zeroing in on such offenders without also clipping legitimate uses of the same techniques is a very tough row to hoe.

4:29 pm on Aug 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

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thanks for the rapid response... this is a cool site.

i thought that seemed to be the case, and

yes that makes sense that there'd probably be some small scale trials in advance if/when the time comes.

 

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