…and watches your kids, walks your dog, and eats all your cookies, all you have to do is give them your home security system to get in… not really, but in all sincerity it leads to some scary thoughts concerning one of Googles latest features for AdSense. The full article Google posted on it can be found on their blog but this is a quick rundown of what it does:
“Using Site Authentication, you can give our crawler access to your login-protected pages by passing it information to log into your site. For example, let’s say your news site has a premium content area, with articles that only paying members can access. To get ads on those pages, you can use Site Authentication to provide our crawler with a test username and password.”
Google can now get a free ride which most would normally have to pay for. Since everyone and their mom is using AdSense these days, that’s a lot of power to have at your fingertips. A few mischievous clicks from a disgruntled employee and I can just imagine the damage capacity that could be caused all at once. I’m probably over simplifying it all, but that doesn’t mean its not a real possibility.
This feature is a step in the right direction by any means. It defiantly changes some of my plans for new sites I’ll be launching. Several sites are losing out on high earning potential and traffic because their content can only be reached by logging in. Some sites display half of their content publicly so appropriate ads can be displayed once members log in. In addition the small amount of content that is shown publicly is a great source for Google to index for organic search. Experts-Exchange.Com has been doing this for the past few years. The questions asked are available to the public, however if you want to “view the solution” you must signup for membership. Whether that was their intention or not, its an excellent strategy to accomplish this. If a site is automated and had a database this public content snippet is rather easy to generate on the fly. In fact I’ll explain how to do it in my next post.
My question is a concern for where the content is being cached and where its going to be made available. I wrote about MediaBot and GoogleBot in a past article to point out that both of these databases share information. While GoogleBot cant access the content MediaBot can with a proper login. GoogleBot has access to MediaBot’s collections. All a visitor would have to do then is open up the pages cache link in their search results to gain access to the information GoogleBot piggy backed off MediaBot’s data. (I often use this strategy to grab info I need on sites that may currently be down, or on sites that no longer exist – See highlight in picture below).
Paid content could be searched and read for free on Google by specifying the site to search in under their advanced options. I expect Google realizes this and has remedied it. I’m just curious about its inner workings and possible flaws we may not know about. Especially if I’m going to be giving them a login which I charge everyone else for.
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