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An unusual referrer

30 settembre 2004

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My brother noticed a strange referrer for this page in his logs today (split over a few lines for convenience):

&oe=utf8&btnG=Go Annotate&sa=D&deb=a&safe=active&btnG=Go Annotate

Maybe it’s pretty common, and it’s just that living at the periphery of the Empire we’re not too interesting for Google and never see this kind of referrers in our logs. But I’m curious anyway, and I like the fact it’s obviously a Python script.

The few bits of information that can be gathered from the URL are:

  • it’s a Python script :) whose name seems to suggest that its purpose is to perform a query that lets you add or view annotations for a set of results or for some of them
  • it’s a placement ad tool for corporate clients (
  • it has a customer_id field, empty in this particular case
  • it has a button labeled “Go Annotate”, thus it probably lets you add not (or not only) view annotations
  • it has a decodeallads field, so probably the query results are used to check for ad placement

My guess is a tool to aid in fine-tuning ad placement for Google’s paying customers, where they can perform a query on a set of keywords, see on which of the result pages their ad would be placed, and annotate the placement for Google’s staff.

Anybody knows better?