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"Unlisted" Picasa Albums Listed on Google  (View post)

Sohil [PersonRank 10]

Monday, June 19, 2006
13 years ago12,162 views

So I guess Privacy is not an option with Picasa Web.

Aww.. I was just going to upload a few photos.

Allyn [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I dont get it, is this supposed to complete with Flickr or Yahoo! Photos? If so, there's just no way. Picasa Web Albums is more bare bones then the Google site iteslf. I don't get it..I want to, but I don't!

Mayank [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

Allyn, I think you guyz forget that Flickr is in existence from long time and because they got the hype that Yahoo purchased them at that time they got the advantage however there are better services available, like slide.com (I knew it, i'll mention about it. I am in love with slide.com). Anyway coming back to the point, dont forget that time is the factor and give time to Google so that they can improve the services. Let the API come out or whatever so that the they give chance to developers to show what they are capable of and then world will just try to find out that what exactly hit flickr.

jack [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

good thing i read this blog, i was in the top 10

Jon M [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

For me, Picasa Web Albums is better than Flickr or anything else for the simple fact that it's attached to the main Picasa application. And why must we keep things so hidden and private? Besides, unless you know the exact name of an unlisted album, chances are people aren't going to find it randomly. Isn't that correct?

I've tried flickr a few times. It's worse in that you have a monthly bandwidth limit (Picasa Web Albums simply has a 250MB storage limit). The key concept with Google continues to be simplicity. No bells and whistles (like Flickr's flash slideshow).

KenWong [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

My unlisted albums are in the search result,No. 2 :(

Art-One [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Jon M: that is what Philipp is meaning to say. It is not because it is not listed in Picasa Web itselves that it is not listed by other means. E.g. via the Google Search engine.

Is a kind of dangerous thing, even more as the explication of the listed, non-listed, private concepts on the site is not so clear. Certainly not for just the normal internet user.

Fuller Stallworth [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

People, people, people . . . . No sense getting yourselves all worked up into a froth for nothing. Let's look at the REAL facts:

1. The image posted by Philipp Lenssen CLEARLY SHOWS that Larry Page's photo album resides at My Photos | Larry's Public Gallery | Untitled Album.

For those of you too stupid to see that Larry has placed an 'Untitled Album' into an area within his directory structure he himself has named 'Larry's Public Gallery,' please shut down your computers and give them to either someone or some organization that's capable of putting them to more use than what could only be termed Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Mr. Lenssen has either [personal attack removed] or he has duped you all into following his well-considered hype – which is: Much To Do About Nothin.

Look at the graphic AGAIN. Mr. Page has himself put his yet untitled photo album into his public space within Picassa. The very same public space Mr. Page has himself named Larry's Public Gallery.

So, what does this translate to beside simply a bunch of [personal attack removed] being misled by someone who appears to be every bit as [personal attack removed] as those who follow him?

IT MEANS: Mr. Page's album is public – but not because his album is Untitled as Mr. Lenssen would have you believe. Mr. Page's album is public because Mr. Page has himself created 'Larry's Public Gallery' and placed an his 'Untitled' photo album there himself. To be exact: Any photo album Mr. Page places in his named Public Gallery, either Titled or Untitled, would be publicly visible.

The fact that Mr. Page's photo album is publicly visible has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT BEING UN-NAMED and thus bearing the Picassa software-assigned name of 'Untitled Album.' 'Untitled Album' is quite similar to the moniker 'New Folder' as assigned by the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems when a folder object has been created but not yet named by the system user.

Wake up, [personal attack removed] and stop sniffin' Mr. Lenssen's dumb she-it. Mine smells much better, if not as sweet.

You now have the facts, the whole facts, and nothin' but the facts: Mr. Lenssen's hype-idity is officially quashed.

Pissed? Comments welcome but I'm much too busy to personally respond to pea-brained hype mongers and their followers.

- F.S.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Fuller Stallworth said:
> You now have the facts, the whole facts, and nothin' but the facts...

Fuller, Fuller, Fuller . . . There's no sense you getting yourself all worked up for nothing either.

I was going to pull your comments apart piece by piece pointing out how many times what you've written was pure fiction. But that would've taken me far too long and the "pea-brained hype mongers" who read this blog and forum will be able to figure that out for themselves without me pointing out the obvious.

- T.R.

P.S. Shame you weren't "much too busy" to bother posting your comments here in the first place...

Me [PersonRank 8]

13 years ago #

Hey hey hey, calm down Frenchies

picasaweb.google.com/welcome/myAlbum

this site is indexed because of the nickname/url change and because of the change from public to unlisted.

you unlisted albums won't be on Gresults

don't change from public to unlisted, that's all.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> For those of you too stupid to see that Larry
> has placed an 'Untitled Album' into an area within
> his directory structure he himself has
> named 'Larry's Public Gallery,'

Yeah, or you could've just read the footnote to my post.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> you unlisted albums won't be on Gresults

I saw at least two now unlisted albums in the Google results. But for the sake of argument, let's say they were public by the time Google indexed them, and their creators only later decided to make them private. Let's just assume this for a discussion, and then I'm asking:
Google web search and Picasa Web are two different entities. Google doesn't have any "inside" knowledge of Picasa. So how can they differentiate between the two following URLs, of which one was always "unlisted", and another always "public"?

picasaweb.google.com/philipp.l ...
picasaweb.google.com/philipp.l ...

Sure, a human can see the folder is named "private", but it could be named anything else. The two pages both don't include any meta directive telling the googlebot to stop. Both pages exclude the Googlebot via the robots.txt all the same, so the bot shouldn't even be there. Both pages are linked to with the same JavaScript from the Picasa Web overview page.

The only actual difference between "public" and "unlisted" albums I could imagine so far is that people link to their public albums often, but rarely publicly link to their unlisted albums, and if they do, we can assume it's sort of their fault (that's what I meant with "harmless" in my post). But the question that remains for me is this:

- Does the Google Toolbar transmit URLs of pages that per robots.txt it shouldn't know about (if you've enabled the PageRank checking feature), as the pages aren't linked from anywhere?

The fact remains that "unlisted" pages are "public", so even if Google wouldn't offer me a nicely clickable list of pages like they do know, every teenage hacker can discover "unlisted" albums by checking different folder names – all she needs to know is the Gmail address of a person. Then she can try to see if it's on Picasa, and if it is, she can try appending names like "private", "boyfriend", etc. That hacker can then of course post a list of links all over the web to make the album truly "listed".
So the real question to me is whether or not Google's interface makes it 100% clear that everyone with a little experimental drive may be able to see your unlisted albums. The solution for Google would be to allow 3 kinds of settings:

- Public (everyone can see your album)
- Public, but unlisted (everyone may see your album, provided they know its name)
- Private (only your invited friends see the album)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I was surprised to see that Google had also indexed
picasaweb.google.com/robots.tx ...
(on page 12 of the results for Philipp's query – but a few hours ago it was on page 10).

Surely Google would know not to index robots.txt?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Heh. Google seems to be showing quite a few robots.txt's so far. Check a search for: [inurl:robots.txt]

Of course, they need to index the robots.txt to know what else they may index, but I don't know if there's an accepted standard for republishing robots.txt's...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

On a side-note, robots.txt only tells bots what to index, not which links to display. Or else, we would all not be allowed to link to a place that is excluded via robots.txt. I think this explains why Google is always showing the links in search results... I think they have the right to, though it's not the most intuitive fact to get your head around to...

elyk [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

robots.txt is probably indexed because google has to retrieve it in order to know where it is/isn't allowed to be, and they figure that while they're at it, they might as well index it.

¥€$ [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Me > This album has NEVER appeared in my public albums (I have none) but a PR6 link.

Randall [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I just got accepted into the beta, and I noticed that when you create an album, the "Unlisted" option has a note saying "May still be viewable if someone knows the album’s name." Was this here before, or does it assuage your concerns, Philipp?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I had a call with the Picasa team tonight. They're actually listening to blog feedback, and they've already changed some of the interface text. Possibly, they'll change more in the future. Their initial thought was to make the URLs as simple as possible and require the least login hassle, and that the unlisted option is sort of like an unlisted phone number in the US. I told them that unlisted phone numbers are like GUIDs, which might actually be better for their URL structure too, as unlisted album titles as used now are easy to guess once average Joe starts to use unlisted albums titled "vacation", "girlfriend", "private" and such. I've also suggested to them to go talk to the Google Toolbar team to check if the Toolbar really never transmits robots.txt-excluded URLs to the index. Let's see how this evolves...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

PS: The original text was “Unlisted – Do not display this album in my public gallery.” The text now is "Unlisted – Not listed in my public gallery (but may still be viewable if someone knows the album’s name)"

¥€$ [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Web albums privacy is fine (URL just works like a password), anyway GoogleBot is too curious, but the algorithm will correct the robots.txt problem in few days...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> URL just works like a password

I could never guess Larry Page's password, but I could guess his album title on one of the first tries: "UntitledAlbum", the "default" password. I bet a lot of people will have "default passwords" in the future (you know, like "private"). Also note that passwords won't get listed in a Google web search, like Picasa album titles...

Art-One [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Philipp: Don't be too smart in this, otherwise Google will hire you and we won't have this nice blog to read anymore ;-)).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

They can't hire me if they wanted to, for obvious reasons :)

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