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Question About "ig-opensocial.googleusercontent"

11:46 pm on Dec 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have a Google news website and recently a couple stories get a ton of traffic from URL's structured like www-ig-opensocial.googleusercontent.com. The same article will get even more traffic with no referrer at all which I assume has something to do with the link above.

Not sure if this will be allowed but here is the exact URL as an example:


Does anyone know what this is? I'm trying to figure out the source of the traffic. It doesn't appear to come directly from Google News. I almost think it's a feed that syndicates content from Google news to other websites or some type of social media thing.


[edited by: tedster at 12:10 am (utc) on Dec 17, 2012]
[edit reason] make full URL visible [/edit]

12:16 am on Dec 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We normally don't allow very specific URLs like this, but we'll make an exception in this case. It's interesting, valuable information and does not reveal any personal information as far as I can see.

Here's what I've been able to learn so far:

googleusercontent.com is a domain owned by Google, Inc. It is used for content storage by Google Plus and other similar Google Services. It is a content delivery network.

1:08 am on Dec 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I noticed "abnews" in the URL but couldn't extract any information from that. I should mention I get a lot of referals from Goolge News as [secure search] once the www-ig-opensocial.googleusercontent.com pops up.

First sign of traffic:

1. opensocial.googleusercontent.com accounts for 30% as referral
2. no referral at all accounts for 50%
3. Google News [secure search] 20%

I do see the article getting picked up by other websites as well. It appears to be a syndication feed from Google News with the title and a short blurb from the article.