'The All Powerful Google'


Simon Pristel, editor of The Melbourne based News Limited tabloid, claimed this morning that Google had accessed internal systems to get hold of an "unpublished" story. Google denies this.

If you know anything about web crawlers then you'd know they can only follow links that have been published on the web. That, or the more formal method of serving up an XML sitemap, like this one, that tells the crawlers what to index. Taking it a little further, Herald Sun URLs - and don't accuse me of hacking here - contain what looks like a random string followed by a database ID (as the number looks incremental). Why would 'The All Powerful Google' even try to crawl, let along guess and therefore 'hack' these URLs? Pretty sure their web crawlers have better things to do. Like trying to hack Facebook.

I'm not going to stick the boot into Pristel - I'll leave that up to the mainstream press. It's also not up to me to judge where his knowledge of digital publishing should be at. But if you're going to go on the record don't outwardly blame a company if you don't understand the inner workings of the technology. And the web in general.

All powerful indeed.