Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

GoogleBot Runs AJAX?

Published on December 06, 2006
By Pete Freitag

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.

google googlebot seo ajax javascript

GoogleBot Runs AJAX? was first published on December 06, 2006.

If you like reading about google, googlebot, seo, ajax, or javascript then you might also like:

Discuss / Follow me on Twitter ↯


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.
by Steve on 12/06/2006 at 11:24:44 AM UTC
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.


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.
by Rick O on 12/06/2006 at 11:33:35 AM UTC
Yeah, most likley it is someone spoofing the user agent.
by Pete Freitag on 12/06/2006 at 12:43:07 PM UTC
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.
by Rostislav on 12/06/2006 at 11:36:18 PM UTC
Pretty fun how things have a habit of seeming one way, when they're completely another.
by MysterySolved on 12/11/2006 at 6:29:17 AM UTC
I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?
by ruconomics on 10/04/2010 at 2:14:31 AM UTC