Can anybody explain why when I 'Fetch as Google' and ask it to index a new page, Google creates a new Wishlist on the back end of the site? Is this normal?

The site was built by Yell and we have had numerous problems getting it optimised with Google and I was wondering if this is one of the reasons we have had problems. It is a Wordpress site with Woocommerce.

Any help with this would be most appreciated as I am not a Developer, just someone trying to run a shop!

  • 1
    "Google creates a new Wishlist on the back end of the site?" - How does this manifest itself? Is this a permanent change in your database? Just my 2 cents, but if this occurs just by crawling the website, it sounds like there might be a vulnerability?! – DocRoot Jan 31 '18 at 0:59
  • Thanks for replying DocRoot. Woocommerce records every wishlist created, be it Public or Private. There are 1849 Private wishlists that have been created since the site launch in April 2017. Each time I Fetch As Google and request Indexing, a new wishlist is created (Private) of a recently indexed product. I then get a message from Securi saying a wishlist has been updated. The IP address for the update links through to a Googlebot. I have also had Spammers, normally Concert Ticket Touts, linking to a Wishlist (Public). Could this also point to a vulnerability issue? Rob – Rob Johnson Feb 1 '18 at 11:29
  • I don't know, it just seems odd to me - I would have thought that only real users should ever be able to create a wishlist, and I would have thought you'd want those users to be authenticated in some way (so not just a "guest" user)? (eg. You can't add items to a wishlist on Amazon unless you are logged in.) If you did allow guest users to create a wishlist then it should be restricted to the current session IMO and deleted thereafter. If it's not an outright vulnerability, then maybe a risky "feature" that is being exploited? – DocRoot Feb 1 '18 at 12:52

This sounds to me like the product page has an "Add to Wishlist" button that does not have any meta data to instruct Google not to trigger it in order to follow it. You have to bare in mind that with Google's ability to analyse the javascript of a site to see what buttons and links do it is more important than every to ensure that if you don't want Google doing something that a user is able to do (such as adding a product to a wishlist) you need to flag it as such (such as rel=nofollow for links). You should also enable server side logic to identify the user agent of the request, while not 100% foolproof in most instances you can identify Google by the use of the Googlebot user agent string.

As a side note this applies whether the add to wishlist function is powered by an AJAX connection and javascript logic, or whether it is done through a classic link sending all the data to the server through a URI with a page refresh.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.