Monday, June 12, 2006

RED ALERT - ECOMMERCE SITES PROTECT YOURSELF PRONTO!

There's a new company called Pronto that has a product in beta that not only crawls your site, displays message toasts while visitors are looking at your products via a browser plug-in.

For instance, someone is looking at the widget your online store is selling and suddenly a window pops up telling your visitors that they can get this widget cheaper elsewhere and tries to direct your shoppers away from your store.

Basically, this takes something like a Shopping.com-type service one step further by incorporating it into the browser and the potential harm to all the smaller online stores is enormous.

Anyone running any kind of ecommerce or affiliate site will definitely want to block this:

Here's the critical info on this crawler:

User Agent: "RedCarpet/1.3 (http://www.pronto.com/robots.html)"
Actual IP's used:
66.45.38.54
66.45.38.56
66.45.38.59
66.45.38.86
66.45.38.88
66.45.38.90
66.45.38.92
66.45.38.91
66.45.38.94
66.179.107.117
216.183.117.132
216.183.117.135
Complete blocks of allocated IP's:
RedCarpet, Inc. INFLOW-9359-113352-18374 (NET-66-45-38-80-1)
66.45.38.80 - 66.45.38.95

RedCarpet, Inc. INFLOW-9359-113352-19316 (NET-66-179-107-112-1)
66.179.107.112 - 66.179.107.127

RedCarpet, Inc. INFLOW-9359-113352-19482 (NET-216-183-117-128-1)
216.183.117.128 - 216.183.117.143
This is definitely a company no ecommerce site wants crawling unless you're sure you have the best prices so block 'em!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazon.com had such a tool (browser toolbar) as early as 1998. It failed, probably because they pissed of most of their partners. I doubt Pronto is any better. A bigger threat would be the Google toolbar suggesting 'similar' product. Just like they identify postcodes and addresses now.

ekampel said...

the links from pronto to our ecommerce site have our SHOPPING.COM tracking numbers in them. Do you think shopping.com is feeding our data to them or they are spidering shopping.com for the info?

IncrediBILL said...

That's a good question that I don't know, possibly, you might want to ask shopping.com about that.

My knee jerk reaction was I don't need my product pages automatically being compared to Pronto's advertisers while someone is visiting my store so BLOCK 'EM.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be working for me, in case anyone else is wondering how to block them

limit GET
order allow,Deny
Deny from 66.45.38.80/28
Deny from 66.179.107.112/28
Deny from 216.183.117.128/28
allow from all
/Limit