Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

eBay's blockade strategy

Author:Lawrence Lee
Posted:10/7/1999; 5:16:14 PM
Topic:eBay's blockade strategy
Msg #:11840
Prev/Next:11839 / 11841

eBay has contacted about a dozen meta-search engines asking them to stop crawling their site because they don't want these sites piggybacking their work and say the crawlers affect site performance.

Sure it's probably an easy process to pick out a crawler out of their logs that is making hundreds of requests to their server and block their IP address to prevent it from accessing their site. But what happens when there are a few thousand crawlers on eBay's site monitoring only a few select pages?

Enter Auction Browser, Apple Sherlock II and MSIE5 for Mac Auction Manager
All three programs are crawlers located on the user's desktop that specialize in auctions. Not only do they compile the results, but they also present the results in an appropriate UI for people who crave auctions.

Even if eBay has the ability to spot some behavior that separates these personal crawlers from "normal" browsers, should eBay be embracing a specialized UI for their auctions?

Will Microsoft and Apple insert a conscience into theirs crawlers to respect any restrictions eBay wants for their site? Will these personal crawlers have their own entrance into eBay to remove unnecessary elements from a page or will they go through the regular entrance of a site?

(Only Auction Browser is currently available.)

Related Links:
Wired News: Mac OS 9's Deal Detective; October 7, 1999

Useit.Com: Metcalfe's Law in Reverse; July 25, 1999

Apple Insider: An Inside Look at Mac Internet Explorer 5.0; August 9, 1999

Boston Globe: No auction site is an island; From October 7, 1999

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