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Why AVG's Linkscanner Is A Bad Idea



July 2nd, 2008 23:20 pm | by Ed |

Anyone who's installed AVG 8 probably knows about the new AJAX powered browser plugin called "Linkscanner". AVG installs it as a plugin / Browser Helper Object in any browser it recognizes and then it will scan all of the links on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) looking for viruses and other malware.

What makes this a really really bad idea is that it generates a monster number of requests for pages that show up in SERPs, requests that are never seen by actual visitors to the pages, they're coming from thousands of installations of AVG's Linkscanner.

As this "feature" becomes more widespread, more and more webmasters are going to decide that the requests generated by Linkscanner aren't worth the extra load on their bandwidth. They'll probably use mod_rewrite rules to redirect requests that look like they're coming from a Linkscanner to AVG's website until they get the point.

Because of this, and the additional load I noticed it putting on both cpu and bandwidth, I ran the installer again and removed the Linkscanner.

Technorati Tags: websites, server load, bandwidth, linkscanner, mod_rewrite, avg, blogs, webmasters

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