Offended by a Robot


One of the sites I run on my home web server is my baby photoblog for my friends and relatives.  I built it during the fantastic paternal leave Microsoft gives its employees (one month off at full pay!), and I am still actually really into it.  I recently put up an Atom feed (knowing full well that most of my relatives know nothing of Atom, let alone RSS).  Anyhow, one of the things I added was a little voting bar that you can click on to rate a baby picture on a scale from 1 to 5.  Naturally, I block you for rating a picture a 1 or a 2.  I mean, really, how dare someone rate my baby a 1 or a 2!  Today I noticed someone was rating my pictures a 3 and being understandably indignant did a whois lookup on the IP address of this fiend and found it coming from Google.com.  Google?  I don’t know anyone who works for Google.  I was perplexed.  Later, I was examining the IIS logs and discovered the hits coming from the GoogleBot.  A robot’s non-conscious actions were evoking an emotional response in me.  Anyhow, I immediately added a robots.txt  with noindex instructions and am changing my code to rate using a POST instead of a GET.  To be fair, the GoogleBot was rating the same photos a 5, a 4, and then finally a 3.

Comments (5)

  1. James says:

    Um? Rating a picture is not rating your baby. I’m sure you can take photos bad enough to warrent less than three out of five, if you try.

  2. AT says:

    What’s the problem ??

    http://javascriptkit.com/howto/robots2.shtml

    a) Use <meta name="robots" content="index,nofollow" /> on page you do not wanna robot click your links

    b) Place "rate_this" script on separate page and exclude only it in robots.txt

    User-agent: *

    Disallow: /cgi-bin/

    Disallow: /pictures/rate.php

    Rate.php page will return back to refferer page or you can specify return page after user voted.

    c) Use JavaScript picture event handlers or HTML Forms instead of plain link for rating. JavaScript will provide rich expirience at cost of compatibility.

  3. Tosh Meston says:

    James, too funny…

    AT, there’s no problem. This is just a funny story. Funny to me, at least. 🙂

  4. Jeff Atwood says:

    I give this post a "1".