Google Web Accelerator Considered Harmful

Google’s newest product is the “Google Web Accelerator”:, which says to make browsing the internet faster. That’s great, isn’t it? Absolutely. Unless you know how they implemented it and the absolutely catastrophic consequences of this.

Ok, so, how does the Google Web Accelerator make browsing faster? It’s quite simple actually, it prefetches pages. If you’re on a web page it will look for links on that page and load them in the background already, so that if you click them they’ll appear instantly. It’s simple, and probably also effective. There’s one tiny problem, however, as “the guys at found out”:

Here’s the problem: Google is essentially clicking every link on the page — including links like “delete this” or “cancel that.” And to make matters worse, Google ignores the Javascript confirmations. So, if you have a “Are you sure you want to delete this?” Javascript confirmation behind that “delete” link, Google ignores it and performs the action anyway.

So, if you end up with an empty database after visiting phpMyAdmin, or all your weblog posts are gone, you know where to look.

To summarize: