Google Web Accelerator

Source Title:
Google Web Accelerator
Story Text:

SEW are running a report of a new Beta, Webaccelerator, from Google

Google Web Accelerator is...
• Designed for Broadband – Web pages load even more quickly on DSL and cable connections
• Easy to use – Simply install and enjoy faster web browsing in seconds


Time Commands All Things

But that app crashed my Firefox. ;) Not sure I want to try that again. This is another one for the conspiracy theorists. Caching! Evil! Cookies! Evil! Bah.


I find the fact that Google doesn't want any tools that use their systems in automated ways, however they go and build tools that do just that to publishers sites extremely amusing. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black[hat].

The amount of data they are amasing is really scary. They are develping more and more aplications, to gather as much data from as many sources you can't help but be worried. If any other company did this they would absolutely be labeled as spyware.

AutoLink Phase 2

I ask, is this just "Autolink Phase Two"?

FACT - this "Webaccelerator" gives Google the opportunity to fiddle with the raw HTML of a website before it is received by the browser.

Fantomaster might be shafted?...

I think Fanto + other cloakers might get shafted by google soon due this... think about it...

Now google is storing pages the way it looks to a user... plus they have the "googlebot index". They could compare the pages to see if they're the same... if not... down comes the axe.

Ofcourse, if you're using stealth IP delivery (which Fanto is all about) and presuming google's proxies for this service aren't going to change like crazy, you'd still be kosher. But kitwit-kiddies with user agent clocking will be screwed for sure.

Just my 2 cents.

You don't shaft anybody you haven't caught hold of yet ...

he, he.
Though I'll concede that I wouldn't put it past Goo to actually try to waste your system resources trying it …

Nice touch, too:

Google Web Accelerator may store copies of web pages, including prefetched pages that you did not visit, in the Google Web Accelerator cache on your machine. This is separate from your browser's cache, which only identifies pages that you actually visited.

So in case you don't want any of the junk Goo thinks you should see at all cost, they'll drop it on your harddisk anyway. My, won't people love this feature. Talk about being invasive …

There's more, of course:

If you enter personally identifiable information (such as an email address) onto a form on an unencrypted web page, some sites may send this information through Google. Whenever your computer sends cookies with browsing or prefetching page requests for unencrypted sites, we temporarily cache these cookies in order to improve performance

"Temporarily", eh? Remember their own cookies' expiration date?

In any case that'll even give them a monster database of all sites' cookies including those vendors actually daring not to advertise with Goo in the first place.

And yes, Graywolf, that's exactly what it's all about: "data mining"'s a miserable, pathetic understatement for what they're doing.

If any other company did this they would absolutely be labeled as spyware.

Googlebar's bad enough already, but this is spyware on steroids.

Spitzer, where are you, when we actually need you?

Sorry for some blatant self-promotion, but may I remind y'all to take a gander at this week's fantOon on our site? Couldn't be more pertinent, if I say so myself. :-)

Incidentally, this makes me think of a new one with the caption:
"Who needs spyware when we have Google?" (Must refer it to our artist it - if so, you read it here first!)


Spitzer, where are you, when we actually need you?

He's big enough and fearless enough, that he could do it, and they'd be force to answer in public, instead of the ole' silent treatment they give us.


>> I ask, is this just "Autolink Phase Two"?

Rather, AOL 2.

Here's a preliminary list of their latest proxy IPs

New google proxy ips for web accelerator detected

And our general take on this (quoting you, too, Graywolf - let me know if you'd prefer me not to):
Google - the coming of a datascraper spook

Think global, act local, folks

so who'll put Spitzer etc. onto this over where you are?


Done, if anyone else wants to add anything

"Money doesn’t grow on the Internet.

Scam artists make it sound like you can earn money or fix bad credit with the click of a mouse. Don't believe it."

He he - sounds like AdSense to me ...

Anyway, good show - keep us posted if and when they respond.

Comment by GG

That chap that Nick banned here has this at WMW

from the people that I've talked to, I've gotten the impression that there's less emphasis on prefetching than on smart proxy caching including incremental changes to pages. Another focus that I know of is on compressing data that goes over the connection.

wrong Google ads

I just notice all the Google adwords/adsense ads are US ads and I'm in the UK.

So UK advertisers can expect a drop in clicks, US advertisers an increase in foreign traffic and Google adsense publisher can expect an increase in CPC and decrease in CTR.

Seems to work fine with Overture (sorry Yahoo Search Marketing), go figure

Accelerator - Designed for Broadband?

Faster speeds is what broadband is all about - you just don't buy broadband and then "accelerate" it. If you need that, then you're not on broadband.

This is 100% a pseudo product. There's no need for it, except Googles need to offer it in order to mine the data. It has no real benefits to anyone but Google. What is the term for that kind of products, now? Spyware is what it is.

Moreover, I hear that it does not respect robots.txt. Moreover, the web site does not specify the user-agent name, and it does not specify that this scraper (which is what it is) will indeed honor robots.txt.

So I will block it, and I will strongly encourage others to do the same.

Thanks for the IPs fantomaster, they're already in my .htaccess - i hope you will make these public as you find them.

User-Agent name

> Moreover, the web site does not specify the user-agent name,

I thought it was understood that the User-Agent name would be that of your browser?

(Oops my bad, I see that sometimes a Google User agent will be used.)


Wouldn't it be lovely if a Spitzer inquiry was answered with one of those famous autogenerated email replies. Great damage control.

Here's how to block GWA effectively

How to block google web accelerator
If you have any questions, feel free to contact either Dirk or myself (in that preferred order, heh).


Sorry, i don't have Dirks contact details, but i ran this at home


OrgName: Google Inc.
NetRange: -

Yet in your rules you only block the range. I personally blocked the whole shebang at my sites.


Currently there are no Googlebots coming from the NetRange -

But we don't know if Google will use some IP ranges for normal spidering. So I would prefer to block only the ranges where we have seen GWA activities.


How pathetically impatient has the human race become when people feel a need to accelerate broadband internet service in the first place, much less submit the online equivalent of being under surveillance to acheive it? *sigh*

good point

- that makes good sense to me (Dirks post). Mivox also makes a good point, although it makes less sense *lol*

Btw. WMW member Scarecrow mentions in this thread that he has also seen activity from

Sure Mivox makes sense

what price your freedom, etc.
We're currently setting up a GWA ACCESS BLOCK page and will feature a couple of anti-GWA graphics (unbranded) people can display on their sites if they wish. Why not turn this into a grassroots movement - I've just about had it: first, it was Microsoft for years and years, and now this ...

uhm...i didn't

i think it was me who didn't make sense - it was just that i wrote the post and then had the page open for a while before i hit the submit button, and Mivox posted in the meantime.

So, it came out as if "submit the online equivalent of being under surveillance to acheive it" made sense to me, when, actually what made sense to me was "to block only the ranges where we have seen GWA activities.". Only after posting did i see Mivoxs post, and then i added the last part of that sentence... not sure if any of this makes sense...

Still, good point Mivox. Pathetically impatient is a nice term as well, i like that.

Pathetic impatience...

...I think it all started with fast food and MTV.

Yes, I am already an elderly curmudgeon at heart. Ask me what I think of 'kids these days' some time. ;-)

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..

its down now. The Google Blogoscoped report says

Google has shut down the download page of their new Web Accelerator, explaining “We have currently reached our maximum capacity of users and are actively working to increase the number of users we can support.” (This may or may not be a polite way of saying there were too many bug reports being thrown at them, and that they now need time to check them.) Nathan Weinberg points out the download page is still up.

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