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November 13, 2006

Naked Google SERP

A naked Google search result page shows only the URL for each result. You won't see titles, snippets or links to the cache version. You may think there are entries in the robots.txt files that prevent Google to index these pages, but that's not the case.

Click on the screenshot to see the top 10 search results. Note that there's a good chance you can't reproduce it.

8 comments:

  1. I've managed to receive this quite a few times now, very frustrating when it's not what you're after.

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  2. Thanks for telling us what causes it.

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  3. Someone from Google could explain why it happens. Maybe there's some strange rare error.

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  4. Is there any way of capturing the robot.txt file when visiting your site?

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  5. Why point something out and not have a reason for it? I thought that would be a reason to mention it.

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  6. Yeah.. google has errors.. there is one that I see day in day out where it prints the footer twice on the search result page. see here http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=297558368&size=o

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  7. Its most probably related to the way the index servers are connected to content servers.

    For example, if the content servers are far too busy (remember they are hauling around a lot of data - cache of each site) then the index servers wont be able to fetch the relevant content to your search. Hence the reason all 10 results did not return a cache or content, so it just returned the relevant url's from the index.

    The index servers dont haul as much information around as the content servers, so its less likely for them to become far too busy to function, so they are fine to return the results for your search (if these index servers were also too busy, you would be given a server busy error). Google has thousands of servers, but just think of how many people use Google? You would need millions of servers and a hefty bandwidth to make sure 100% users got 100% of network attention at all times.

    The index servers only hold which sites link with which keywords. Similar to that of a books index. Each word is linked to a page number, the page number in Google's case is the web address. However the content servers store the cache of that website which can be a lot of data, even after you have removed the images. And remember Google even finds relevant text from the cache unique to your search ;)

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  8. If you want naked Google search results you can use this online tool:
    Google Parser(GooParser)

    Or you can read the post about it:
    Get Google results in a list of clean URLs

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