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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I think I broke Google

A tweet from @MarkMaceSmith asking :
 Why have you got hundreds of my images on your website Paul Regan?
Had me wondering what the hell !?

A quick look and he was right (kind of).. But not just his images, EVERYONES!

Shows his gallery on my domain.  Note the the Picasa Mobile URL (/m/) which also gave me the answer.

I have masked the Picasa URL using an Apache rewriteRule on my site :
RewriteRule   ^m/(.*)$1   [NC,P,L]
It appears the Google spiders came along and followed this all the way through Picasa's structure.  I don't know how deep but Google currently returns >250K links and every one of them works!

I can probably fix this with robots.txt, but ..

  • Should I?  
  • Have I inadvertently discovered SEO gold? 
  • Will I be struck off and sent to web-master jail/gaol? (I probably should be)