Not even sure whether this belongs in SSID or Bing Search...
Background: I've been blocking the plainclothes msn/bingbot for a while, on account of how it doesn't behave itself. (Who, me? I'm just some human in Redmond using a hand-me-down version of MSIE. Why on earth would I look at robots.txt?) Conversely, the "real" bots are ignored in log-crunching.
Quirk: I block by what it is wearing ("MSIE"). I ignore by what it isn't wearing (assorted known bots). Combine that with a weekend spent completely overhauling my log-crunching routines, and this comes floating to the surface:
aa.bb.55.27 ... 01:20:33 -0700] "GET /directory/filename.html HTTP/1.1" 200 14447 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.162 Safari/535.19"
... accompanied by requests for all affiliated stylesheets and scripts. Perfectly normal human, in other words, except for
:: drumroll ::
the 207.46 hiding behind that "aa.bb"
I am in the same time zone as Redmond. Do you suppose it's a human working late and detouring for a "cold" visit to a reasonably important-- but not especially entertaining-- page? With the added guilty thrill of using a browser other than MSIE? Or the janitor or night watchman doing a spot of browsing on someone else's time?
Or is it the bingbot getting sneaky and trying on a different costume since they've figured out that "MSIE" is blocked?
fwiw, the ordinary bingbot visited the same page less than 24 hours earlier. For my site, this counts as recent.
Wasn't g### observed doing the same kind of thing just recently? They always do it from their own IP ranges. If you did want to get The Human Angle, seems like it would be smarter to sublet some random bits of, I dunno, Road Runner or equivalent and do a genuinely blind test.