I don’t know why I do this, it’s just ingrained in me for some reason. I guess I just don’t like how Wine Spectator, in an effort to control searches for wine, allows Google to index deep into it’s site, only to taunt users who click on those results with the solicitation to sign up as a paid subscriber to view the story/review/blog post. Well, here is yet again, another way to use Google to get around it:
Change your user agent to Googlebot
Googlebot is the famous search engines program that indexes web pages, and a lot of sites block googlebot access to paid content. But not Wine Spectator! So all you need to do is trick the site into thinking that you are googlebot. Here’s how to do it.
1. Download and install this extension [Mozilla.org]
2. Go to Tools > User Agent Switcher > Options > Options
3. Click on User Agents on the top left, then click Add
4. For Description type in Google or Googlebot, and for the User Agent enter this:
None of the other fields need to be entered. If you’d like a huge list of User Agents to choose from, here is a handy XML file that does the above few steps for you. Just import the file into User Agent Switcher.
5. Select Googlebot from the User Agent Menu (go to tools > user agent switcher> then click googlebot – click thumbnail for pic), browse to Wine Spectator, and enjoy!
One note: an annoying pop-up in between pages says “this browser isn’t supported”, but just click O.K. and the page you’re after comes up.
You need to change your registry key for this to work. Simple go to your start menu, click on run, and paste the following code in, then hit enter. To revert back when you are done, do the same thing but enter the second code below.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings5.0User Agent] @=”Googlebot/2.1″ “Compatible”=”+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html”
and to revert back:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings5.0User Agent] @=”Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)”
You can save these as .reg files on your desktop for easy switching, just name them something different, like ua.reg and oua.reg
This functionality is already built into your browser. I’m not sure what the process is for changing user agents, but I’m betting you can figure it out.