Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 12 years and 7 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
Google dorks has been around for quite awhile, and is rather disturbing. Essentially, it’s a list of queries on Google that can be used to reveal unsecured networks, personal information, and all sorts of other information that should definitely not be publicly available on the internet.
I’ve been wanting to mention this site for a while, as it is quite interesting (as well as disturbing). I think it is VERY cool that someone is creative enough to come up with these incredible queries that result in some very specific information that is exactly what they are looking for. Yes, it is a shame that they are wasting such creativity on potentially harmful activity though.
This site also brings up a very interesting debate. Should Google be held at all responsible for allowing these types of queries to work? I know when they were the media darling that all SEO’s and early adopters would have said no, but now that they are a large mega-corp, do we still have the same tolerance of the types of things that should be able to slide by?
The people whose information are turned up by these types of queries are quite stupid. They may also have their lives extensively damaged by identity theft or other malfeasance It is a shame that there are so many stupid people in the world, but defending the other side of this debate, I don’t think we have the obligation to rectify people’s stupidity. I also don’t think we want to keep it easy for criminals to commit evil deeds.
One other reason this comes up, is that last night on SEO Rockstars, BakedJake mentioned a query (which eludes me – it was a fairly “evil” query regarding user cookies) that consistently produced an error result. This is quite odd for Google, but a bit admirable. It seems G is also becoming more effective at detecting automated queries and shutting them down. As an SEO this makes life a bit more difficult, but again, is somewhat admirable.
My question is…how hard would it REALLY be for G to shut all these queries down? Put them on a “blacklist” perhaps? Why not create a database of “evil” phrases that could ONLY be used for evil and ban them. If I buy something from a website online, and the server administrator is a bit slow…I’m not real excited about someone being able to find my information through Google. If some moron server administrator leaves a foothold open someplace where I’ve done business, I will be the one to be paying the consequences. The answer unfortunately is that someone would have to constantly decide which phrases were evil (on a manual level), and this would probably employ too high of a level of censhorship which would also raise hell. The manual manipulation of serps will always be an issue with the SE’s, and I highly doubt we’ll see much transparency in this arena anytime soon.
The total answer: Don’t be stupid. Employ personal responsibility and don’t allow Google to find information on your systems. As a consumer…be careful who you do business with, and make sure their credible and qualified to be running whatever type of system they are running. If you’re a server admin, and your sites come up for any of the queries on Google dorks…quit your day job and go back to school…it’s time to hang ‘em up.