While perusing my referrer logs I noticed that I was receiving a large number of requests from Google Desktop. In fact, I was serving up more pages to Google Desktop users than to RSS Bandit users. Considering that my RSS feed is included by default in RSS Bandit and there have been about 200,000 downloads of RSS Bandit this year it seemed extremely unlikely that there are more people reading my feed from Google Desktop than RSS Bandit.

After grepping my referrer logs, I noticed an interesting pattern when it came to accesses from the Google Desktop RSS reader. Try and see if you notice it from this snapshot of a ten minute window of time.

2005-09-13 16:31:05 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 80.58.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:32:13 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 65.57.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:32:36 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 209.221.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:33:05 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 64.116.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:33:12 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 209.204.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:33:20 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 68.188.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:34:48 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 209.221.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:35:25 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 64.116.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:35:32 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 209.204.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:35:40 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 68.188.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:36:14 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 80.58.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:37:33 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 65.57.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:37:46 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 209.204.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:37:55 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 68.188.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:37:55 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 64.116.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:39:19 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 196.36.*.1* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:39:31 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 12.103.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:39:55 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 18.241.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:40:11 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 63.211.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:40:15 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 64.116.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200
2005-09-13 16:41:23 GET /weblog/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss - 80.58.*.* Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+Google+Desktop) - 200

The *'s are there to protect the privacy of the people accessing my RSS feed. However it is clear that not only is Google Desktop fetching my RSS feed every 5 minutes it is also not using HTTP Conditional GET requests. WTF?

Since I couldn't find a place to send feedback about this product, I've posted it to my blog. I hope Google fixes this soon, I'd hate to have to ban their client because it is wasting my bandwidth.


 

Thursday, September 15, 2005 8:34:19 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Issues can be reported at http://desktop.google.com/support/bin/request.py

I just reported your issue (with a pointer to your blog entry there).
Dave
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