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I Hate (Chrome) Prefetch

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#1 iamlost

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

Google is once again being a royal pita, this time by extending pre-fetch in the latest Chrome browser beta release: Speed and Security, Google Chrome Blog, 05-January-2012.

...Chrome will now start loading some web pages in the background, even before you’ve finished typing the URL in the omnibox. If the URL auto-completes to a site you’re very likely to visit, Chrome will begin to prerender the page.


I am still watching my logs to see how this prefetch is implemented. (Yes, I should have downloaded and tested it myself but I've been otherwise occupied.) I'm hoping that it follows prior art and can be blocked/filtered as desired. See Chrome Joins Mozilla , Cre8, 08-August-2011.

Pre-fetch is an horrifically bad idea from a webdev's perspective as it distorts page view numbers, bounce rate numbers, ad delivery statistics (nasty thought: perhaps that why G likes the idea...)... Plus it goes through bandwidth like a bot. This is even worse in some ways than the referer query removal pita. Managing Google is becoming bloody time consuming. Cost:benefit ratio is definitely increasing...

Off to find something inanimate to kick.

#2 jonbey

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:41 PM

What about risk to users? If you search for something a bit dubious and the first result/s is illegal in your country, but the data is downloaded, surely that could land you in trouble? Would be hard to convince the cops that you were not looking at those pages. OK, maybe a little far-fetched, but it could happen, couldn't it?

#3 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:42 PM

If they're only trying to start the fetch of the URL you're typing into the browser before you finish typing it, while I'm sure there will be some false-positives it's not as bad some previous pre-fetching schemes.

#4 jonbey

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:54 PM

ah, I see. I thought they started downloading files on a search.

#5 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:56 PM

At this point, I'm almost ready to just shrug my shoulders and stop caring. In fact, if you shut off the parts of your brain that understands the ramifications of all the things Google does, really, it's a much more pleasant state of mind. :)

Ostrich - meet sand.

#6 glyn

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:14 AM

Don't use chrome - it's enought that Google snoops me in Gmail, and then tracks me as I go through all the sites using their free analytics platform.

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Source: Knowprivacy.org (2009) last accessed 11 January 2011 at: http://www.knowprivacy.org

At least Google making suggestions in your browser bar will be impartial.

"If the URL auto-completes to a site you’re very likely to visit, Chrome will begin to prerender the page" - the point at which Google guesses the domain I am going to type I am sure will be stacked in favour of big brands.

G.

#7 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

I don't use GMail and won't use Firefox and really find Internet Explorer and Safari to be unpleasant user experiences.

So if Google is watching me surf, fine. They can see me through the Double Click network anyway.



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