Google Help : Search Features

Filed under: — 11:15 pm

Google Help : Search Features – “On some searches, Google automatically instructs your browser to start downloading the top search result before you click on it.” This does not sound like a good thing to me. Luckily you can turn it off. [via]

3 responses to “Google Help : Search Features”

  1. Prefetching is a bit odd: since Movable Type’s templates put a rel=”next” link in the individual entry pages, anyone who comes in on a link to one entry downloads at least two. Very nice when you’re the user, reading through entries from older to newer, but a bit unhandy for stats. And while you can turn off prefetching for your own browser, turning it off for your site (“‘just’ return a 404 for requests with X-moz: prefetch”) is a little more trouble.

    The really funny thing, though, is that it’s not going to do me the slightest bit of good at Google. I would never search for “Stanford” (their example) if I wanted to go to if I’m searching for something for which there’s one obvious result, it’s almost always because I’m looking for other commentary on it, not for the obvious thing, which is likely to have an obvious URL that I could just type.

  2. I agree. I almost never want result #1 of a search – half the time I’m not looking for the obvious answer, and the other half of the time the #1 result is spam…

    Also, as a site owner who owns the #1 sites on Google for a number of terms, I’m not sure the traffic from people who don’t even know they’re loading my page will do me any good.

  3. PFJ says:

    So when you say “starts downloading” you mean that it kinda starts pre-loading that page of the first result assuming you will go to it? That sucks… what advantage does Google get from this?

    Lucky we can turn it off.

(c) 2001-2007 Michael Moncur. All rights reserved, but feel free to quote me.
Powered by WordPress