Google Photos Screensaver 2.0

Check your web server logs. The Google Photos Screensaver 2.0 web bot does not respect robots.txt rules. It tripped over my tarpit a few days ago and I just noticed it hitting the same url again this morning. It’s banned now.

The strange thing is, I saw two requests from this user agent a few minutes ago. One from which is a Gooogle IP, and another from which looks like an Indian IP.

Which one tripped over my tarpit? The Google IP address, did.

If you want to ban “Google Photos Screensaver 2.0”, add these lines to the .htaccess in your root directory (presuming you have mod_rewrite enabled of course!)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Google Photos Screensaver 2.0.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

I also ban a number of other user agents. This could could be merged into a few less lines but this makes it easy to add new lines quickly:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Microsoft URL Control.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} WebAlta Crawler/2.0.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*larbin.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Python-urllib.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} libwww-perl.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Indy Library.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Jakarta Commons-HttpClient.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

3 thoughts on “Google Photos Screensaver 2.0

  1. I would think if you have pictures up on the internet for people to see, you’d WANT something like google to display your pictures to everyone it can. Hopefully your pictures have a blurb or link, such as “” so that people will come to your site to see more of your work.

    But, at least, if for some reason you DON’T want people viewing your site, you can turn off Google’s robots.

    Walt D in LV

  2. I think Google Screensaver is more like an rss reader. It just displays photos from rss feeds that people manually enter. Since it’s not actually a web crawler, it shouldn’t respect robots.txt, right?

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