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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google Blog Search Forgot To Remove Redirect URLs

Big hat tip to my (Jason) buddy Pete on this one. Pete pointed out to me that it was kind of weird Google was using a redirect url in their blog search results. The redirected url looks something like this...

http://www.google.com/url?sa=D&q=http://www.marketingshift.com/

With a url like that you can't get the important information out of your referrer logs like "This visitor was sent from Google's blog search and not from Google's normal results..." Pete's hypothesis is that they simply forgot to take the redirect urls off when they moved their blog search into beta and out of testing. I personally think this makes a lot of sense. Here's why... 1.) Google was likely testing this blog search engine for a long time. Rumors of Google launching a blog search engine had been around for over a year so we were all expecting them to launch it but in order to test it they couldn't let the cat out of the bag on their latest and greatest search tool so they implemented these quirky redirect urls. 2.) With all of their concern over serving up accurate results, I'm sure the last thing on their mind was seeing what redirect urls were being used in the actual results. I'll have to check with Matt on this one though. Here's an example of the headers returned clicking on a google blog search redirect url result.

HTTP/1.0 403 OK Cache-Control: private Content-Type: text/html Location: http://www.marketingshift.com/ Set-Cookie: PREF=ID=be0c6601b78c5e2b: TM=1126725733:LM=1126725733:S=S1EijWdUb6tc8f3W; expires=Sun, 17-Jan-2038 19:14:07 GMT; path=/; domain=.google.com Server: GWS/2.1 Content-Length: 1294 Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 19:22:13 GMT Connection: Keep-Alive

As you can see they're not putting any of the relevant information like keywords used, page result was clicked on, number of results per page, the fact this result came from google's blog search engine and not google's normal search results. So did Google make a booboo? Did they forget to pull the test redirect urls out of the result sets before they launched blog search? I'm not sure but I bet we can find out.

By Jason Dowdell at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

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