The title says it all.
If you have Google Web Accelerator installed on your machine, it’s best for you to not to use any web apps that incorporate destructive links, as you might find out one day that you’ve removed page content, left groups you intentionally joined, deleted users on your site etc – the list could go on.
Straight from the horses mouth:-
“Google Web Accelerator is an application that uses the power of Google’s global computer network to make web pages load faster. Google Web Accelerator is easy to use; all you have to do is download and install it, and from then on many web pages will automatically load faster than before.”
Google Web Accelerator uses various strategies to make your web pages load faster, including:
- Sending your page requests through Google machines dedicated to handling Google Web Accelerator traffic.
- Storing copies of frequently looked at pages to make them quickly accessible.
- Downloading only the updates if a web page has changed slightly since you last viewed it.
- Prefetching certain pages onto your computer in advance.
- Managing your Internet connection to reduce delays.
- Compressing data before sending it to your computer.
Essentially, it prefetches pages to cache by spidering links that present on the page your viewing at a given time. So this begs the question – what links are, and aren’t prefetchable? Well, Googles Support pages on the matter state that in line with the HTTP 1.1 spec, “‘the GET method is defined as a Safe Method which “SHOULD NOT have the significance of taking an action other than retrieval.’ In practice, Google Web Accelerator does not prefetch links which have query parameters (i.e. have a “?” in the URL) and encrypted pages (i.e. URL starting with https://).”
In v1.0 we could directly target it as it identified its requests with a “X-moz: prefetch” header, however apparently in v2.0, the header has dissapeared. Having said that, it’s slightly strange that Google haven’t updated their pages to reflect the apparent changes in v2.0
Although I have no first-hand experience of this, it was highlighted to me (cheers Mark) when I was implementing the UI for a past project.
I’ll let you read through a number of useful comments on the subject submitted by readers… I’m off to bed.