Odd Behaviour in Google?

Argh. Google seem to have stopped obeying redirects properly.

If you search for "Workx in progress" on Google (x is intentional), the
top result looks like a Blogwise details page for that blog. When you
click it it goes to a different site.

What the Googlebots are doing is looking at similar.php (a script that
finds similar sites, given a blog ID). similar.php redirects to the info
page of the new blog. In the user’s browser the URL changes (as it
should). Google is not changing the URL however, retaining the similar.php
URL, but analysing the new content.

Since similar.php chooses its blogs on a semi-random basis, the user often
gets a different blog to the one they think they’re going to get.

This is actually causing me quite a headache. I don’t know why they’ve
changed this behaviour (I’m sure there’s a good reason?), but it means I’m
getting quite a few emails from bemused Blogwise users, asking why this
particular Google result goes to a different site.

I suppose the best solution is to disable similar.php in robots.txt, but
that doesn’t fix Google itself!

One thought on “Odd Behaviour in Google?”

  1. Google is probably doing the right thing, since it’s a temporary redirect. If you want it to use the URL of the referred-to page, you need to use a permanent redirect.

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