Digital Media Insights for Business Owners

Search Spiders or Search Spy-ders?

Today, checking one of our client’s indexation I noticed something fairly interesting. Yahoo Search had indexed a page that is found only by following the completion of a form. Now, this might not sound weird to most people, but for the savvy SEO this might mean a vast set of hypothesis.

Is Yahoo Slurp clicking on forms? Or are they using the same technique Google uses by indexing whatever is touched by a browser with the “toolbars”? Now, I see how 4-5 years ago every single tool bar, that did anything the browser didn’t know about, was considered Malware. What is happening today?

It seems like once more the mayor search giants are calling the shots and once more doing what they want without wanting to be called “Spam”.

In my opinion the web is free for all and it should remain like that. Therefore I agree that search engines use such tactics to find new content. What I don’t condone is that the user is not aware of it. The typical response would be: “We do tell our users once they install our tool bars”. LOL! Are you kidding? Buried in the middle of 5000 lines of code you know people are not going to read that (that is why you put it there, right?).

Why would search engines want to disguise the fact that they are “tracking” your visitation patterns? One word for you: privacy.

Can I really visit any content on the web that I want without being followed? I am not so sure anymore. Should we start calling them Spy-ders instead?

Well, privacy for the most part is a good thing. The biggest problem that I see is that people use privacy to do things that they wouldn’t do with others watching; privacy brings the real character out. Privacy can turn a thought into a murder, turns a sight into sin. That is a powerful thing.

These days is so easy to loose your entire privacy to the web: a Facebook account with all your friends, a Flickr account with your pictures, yellowpages with your phone numbers, twitter with your current location, maps with your address, insurance sites with everything you own and the “price tag” of your breathing.

Google giving you everything for free just in exchange for your “personal information”. Information is power. If Google’s information got stolen, what would happen to you? I don’t want to think about it.

Next time you are on the web, think for a second: “I am being observed closely”.

Alex Centeno

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