[LINK] RFI: HTTP 'GET favicon' requests from Google Toolbar

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Apr 20 09:00:07 AEST 2009

I'm puzzled by a pattern in the web-server logs for my old ANU site.

I switched to a new site in February, but the old one continues to 
receive >1,000 hits per day via links on pages that have yet to be 

(They receive a Permanent Redirect, and hence get to the new page. 
The site's recovered its PageRank of 6, and is back to c. 7-9,000 
hits per day, about 70% of where it was when the ANU stuff-up 

I'm monitoring developments, in order to see if there are any other 
steps I can think of to help / stimulate people to fix their sites.

In the latest server logs, 205/1327 (or nearly 20%) of entries are 
requests for either:
OR favicon.gif

The files are requested within a variety of directories, all of them real.

I do not have, and have never had, any such filename anywhere on my site.

The sources appear to be all Google Toolbars.  Sample logfile entry below.

I'm aware what a 'favicon' is.  (Fairy-floss - but not stupid - 
cocked up by Microsoft, with subsequent attempts by real people to 
get it back on track:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon )

But I can't see why Google Toolbar and/or MSIE are causing the 
spurious requests, nor whether I can do anything about it.

Any thoughts much appreciated!


Sample Web-Server Log Entry - - [19/Apr/2009:00:48:30 +1000] "GET 
/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 301 328 
"/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/favicon.ico" - 0 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 
(compatible; GoogleToolbar 5.0.2124.4372; Windows 6.0; MSIE 

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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