This hack (and the related Firefox addon) is really incredible, I have go to tell you. But what left me speechless is that it works for real! But why would you like to disguise yourself into a GoogleBot? Why would you like to cheat and trick websites, blogs and forums into thinking you are a GoogleBot spidering their web pages? Well, the most simple explanation is that in this way nobody will recognize you. Basically, apart from the IP address which will be left as it is, you won’t left any footprint on those websites logs because you will look like a regular, true Google robot! But, of course there is more at stake here. As you know, a lot of forums don’t allow you to see and read their contents or whole threads unless you are a registered member. With this trick you will be able to bypass and skip registrations because all hidden content will be completely visible to you!
The hack involve the use of Firefox browser. Furthermore, the addon which automatically turns you into a GoogleBot is for Firefox only.
- Open Firefox.
- In the Web address bar, type: about:config and press Enter.
- Click the I’ll be careful, I promise button.
- In the Search filter, type: useragent and press Enter.
- Now, from the list of results, double click the general.useragent.extra.firefox key.
- Such key identifies the browser in front of blogs and websites as Firefox.
- Now, copy and paste: Googlebot/2.1; http://www.google.com/bot.html in the key field and click OK.
- Of course you can add anything else in order to mask and conceive yourself such as: iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us (this code will turn your browser into an iPhone)
- Test your changes by using this page: http://chrispederick.com/work/user-agent-switcher/features/test/
- Of course, our goal is to skip website registration, so only the Googlebot code will work in this example.
In case this hack is a little tricky for you, there is a nice Firefox addon available that will make the dirty job for you. The addon is called UserAgent Switcher and adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of a browser. Personally speaking I find the addon more effective than the hack I described above. In fact, UserAgent Switcher also allows you to change the Description as well as the User Agent making the whole thing more effective.
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