Archive for the ‘HTTP’ Category

July

19

by Kaj Kandler

I currently happen to be with my Laptop in Barcelona, Spain. However, my PC is set up en_US with US time zone, etc. Now for Google I seem to have become a Spaniard now. When I type in www.google.com I get redirected to www.google.es, when I search something in the Firefox searchbar I get results from www.google.es. When I go to websites that serve Google AdSense, I get served Spanish advertisements.

This is nuts, because I do not speak Spanish and I can’t read it and my browser is set to the languages en, en_US, ge and pt. So no Spanish. And the site I visit, the business network LinkedIn is only available in English. So why is Google serving me like I’m a native, just because my IP address is currently in Spain?

Can anybody tell me how this is useful for me (do NO evil) or for the advertisers (do NO evil)?

In my book this is evil. It breaks the HTTP protocol, because that says the browser does determine what languages it prefers to accept and not Google or its misguided idea of localization. If they want to show me advertisement that are local to my location, fine. But please in a language that I do understand. Otherwise Google is waisting its ad space.

June

02

by Kaj Kandler

I can’t believe what I just found on the Yahoo!Search Blog about removing pages from a website. The author says “The best way to remove dead URLs from the Yahoo! Search index is to return an HTTP Error 404 when our crawler requests the page.”

Are they serious, really serious?

The HTTP spec clearly says return code 404 is “Not Found” temporarily and 410 is “Gone” permanently. They even say in th explanation for code 404 “The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address.”

Yahoo slurp is free to treat a 404 page as if removed although I don’t think it serves the searching public well. However, I can’t understand why the Yahoo!Search blog teaches webmasters to send a 404 if a 410 return code is appropriate.

Just needed to rant about this, because this blog has for sure a wide readership.