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Monday, June 19, 2006

"Unlisted" Picasa Albums Listed on Google

So, the first “unlisted” albums of Picasa Web are listed – where else – on a Google web search. (Remember, Google allows you to switch between “public” or “unlisted,” but unlisted doesn’t mean “private.”) Even though Picasa Web disallows indexing of its albums via the robots.txt file, Google still lists the URLs, presumably because it found them linked in public places (which would make the listing more harmless) or saw them transmitted via the Google Toolbar (which would be a bit worse). While I only found two “unlisted” albums* so far in Google’s roughly 200 results – not entering random album titles, but simply following Google’s links – this might foreshadow what’s to come unless Google clarifies their interface.

Larry Page, in the meantime, removed the photo we found in his “unlisted” album.

*Note that when you hit on an “unlisted” album, the title may still read “Public Gallery.” To check if the album is really saved under a “Public” setting, truncate the URL so you’re landing on this user’s overview page, and check if the album you saw is listed there.

Update: Google reworded some parts of the public vs unlisted interface (see the comments for more).


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