Lost in all the sound and fury of Web 2.0 is the dirty secret of SEO idiocy and dishonesty: No matter how clever or cool your Web design, there's a good chance that the Google-bot is blind to your overly interactive content. Making matters worse, many sites use this discrepency to their advantage, populating the Google index with compelling content that is bait-and-switched at the actual page for more nefarious or self-serving fare (specifically, ad-polluted, registration-blocked, or spyware-infested content).
Well, somebody went and built an obvious solution: BeTheBot.com. BeTheBot will visit any URL you submit under the guise of the Google or Yahoo Web spiders, then display the supplied data as the search engine would see it. Now you can find out if you're blinding Google to your own content, or if a site you're thinking of surfing has a "Bot and Switch" up its sleeve.
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.