GoogleBot Runs AJAX?

December 06, 2006

I saw this curious line in my log files today: - - [06/Dec/2006:17:00:50 +0000] "POST /suggest.cfm HTTP/1.1" 200 232 "-" "Googlebot/2.1 (+"

That's GoogleBot doing a POST operation to suggest.cfm, which is what happens when you type in the text box on, it sends a HTTP post request to suggest.cfm using AJAX / XmlHttpRequest

Now I know GoogleBot has a bot that runs JavaScript, but I am suprised that it would trigger these events (since you have to put text into the text box). This makes me really curious to know what Google's JavaScript bot really does? Does it invoke all events? I've never seen GoogleBot do a HTTP Post operation before.

Update: It turns out that this was someone spoofing their user agent.

Related Entries

5 people found this page useful, what do you think?


That IP belongs to BGCELL.NET, so more likely it was a user impersonating googlebot using a firefox extension to impersonate the googlebot. User Agent spoofing happens occasionally. Sometimes I leave mine turned on on accident.
Are you sure it was really Google and not a spoofed UA? I find it pretty unbelievable that Google (or really, anyone) would write a bot that does POST. Run JavaScript, sure, but the HTTP docs are pretty explicit about spiders NOT doing POSTs. It's just a dumb idea. I don't use Scriptaculous, and its controls.js doesn't look like it is explicitly setting the METHOD to POST. Nevermind. Found it in prototype.js. Hmm. Even if we made the assumption that the folks at Google wanted to make a bot that ran JS ... you then also have to make the assumption that they stuff keys into input boxes and watch for events ... or it knows what Prototype and Scriptaculous are, and stuffs them with keys. And to what end? To get a list of popular search terms for your site? And do what with it? Seems like a stretch to me. It seems more likely that someone is probing your site or yanking your chain. Oddly enough, the IP you have listed is supposedly owned by ARIN.
Yeah, most likley it is someone spoofing the user agent.
Pete, sorry for the confusion. This request was made from my notebook. I'm using the User Agent Switcher extension for Firefox to test the SEO functionality of my SWFAddress project and sometimes I forget to switch back my settings immediately. I think I saw featured on Ajaxian and gave it a try.
Pretty fun how things have a habit of seeming one way, when they're completely another.
I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?
I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Post a Comment


Spell Checker by Foundeo

Recent Entries


did you hack my cf?