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Author:  Gremlette
November 21, 2008



Laycat, Kyklo, what next?…and even admits is ‘cloaking’ itself

When I was looking through my November website logs, Laycat and Kyclo were of the highest visiting robots above Yahoo and Google. Of course, I googled it to see what on earth it was and sure enough other people were also complaining it was their highest visitor.

It is a relatively small cross-section of web designers and developers that actually look through their records and we’re one of them, the hits from Kyclo and Laycat were too big to ignore. Only a handful of people at the time reported about this particular Robot, some said that they were getting a minimum of 550 hits  eg http://jagf.net/blog/?tag=laycat,

For a short period Laycat.com issued a web crawler notice on their site saying that they were simply gathering information for a new search engine…. and that was good enough for some, since a poster had copy/pasted the robot notice on a forum. The robots are sporadic, keep changing names, hit A LOT and the links to their website did not have any information on multiple occasions they were checked therefore this post was originally written. It looked a bit dodgy.

Now that this post was brought to the attention of Laycat/Kyclo, the very plain robot information page is back online, after being assured by the admin at Laycat that it must have been temporary down-time when I was looking.

There are currently 3 known robots all named differently operating under the same people. (rather odd – and how many more are there?) Kyklo.com, aceleo.com and and laycat.com. Not to tell someone else how to run their operation but couldn’t you simply use 3 different server names at one domain, for example kyklo.laycat.com aceleo.laycat.com and laycat.laycat.com? This might make people slightly less suspiscious of 3 different robots with completely different names linking back to the same place.

http://www.kyklo.com and http://www.aceleo.com all redirect to http://www.laycat.com/, – Don’t expect anything too fancy – it’s just a plain robot information notice blurb - no site, no branding or company information, nor anything further, plus despite being asked for further details on several occassions, they with not oblige and instead want to insist we change our public and might I say rightfully free, opinion of it, without further information, I’m sorry if that’s the way I ran my life I’d be a devout christian who thought science was just the devils way of trying to trick us because I’d be ignoring all evidence and putting my faith in the hands of someone elses words.

The admin at Laycat have been extremely bitter and resentful about their bots being mentioned on here in a skeptical light. Their initial contact was immediately followed by the post being re-titled,  their admin being thanked for the 3 links above and thanked for their Robots text being re-issued online…. I got told I was being ‘Nasty’ !

Without further aggrevation, Laycat admin continued to bombard us with very long comment posts laced with further derogatory comments, calling us ‘undocumented trolls’, using childish tactics of posting word counts of his posts, due to the fact we said the comments length may have been something to do with Askimet Spam canning his comments. Ripping our post and comments apart line by line  (Just like what would normally be considered “a troll” on most forums/blogs) with negatively verbose responses etc. We were painted as simpletons, writing rubbish to just drive people through our affiliate links (hardly advert city here with a maximum 4 links placed for layout aid vs 30+ links to our own site and services), we just wont stand for that, tell us we’re wrong by all means, but provide proof of it, don’t just bombard the comments with links and excuses.

Laycat (also aceleo and Kyklo…. even though I was told that it was kyclo not kyklo by Laycat even though the Kyklo website is kyklo.com), they have an absolutely stinking attitude to say the least. Given Laycats response, the dawn of a new search engine being the reason for these robots has become highly unlikely in our minds, and if it has that sort of childish mentality at the head of it, then frankly we don’t need it. Considering the type of responses that were given, we find it is far more likely this new search engine will be the next “Web Ripper” and not a search engine at all. Due to the nature of our site in comparison to the nature of his comments, we have been forced to remove ALL comments and re-write this post appropriately and close further comments, if admin@laycat.com would like to further comment on this post, we invite him to use our contact form http://www.symsysit.com/core/Symsys-Contact-Details.php to do so, beware though if you fill your email to us with lots of links, a massive character count, swear words etc, then our Web Spam filter will probably pick it up as well.

As repeated in all of Laycats comments, it is highly recommended, that their bots be blocked in the form of IP banning and robots.txt block lists if you think they may be maliscious – I am only repeating the advice given by Laycat admin here and just to please him, since he thinks we have such a controlling effect on our readers, I must molly-coddle you all by saying, “We encourage you to make up your own mind and this post is purely for informational purposes, we are not the definitive voice on the internet” – Laycat do you feel re-assured that we still don’t like your bots but have told our readers to make up their own minds? Readers do you feel re-assured that you’re not being “ordered” to believe what we tell you to?

Laycat, Kyklo, Aceleo maliscious?…..I say HELL YES … well, the admin certainly is!

Paranoid?….. YES  :)  lol, maybe just bored. At the end of the day, it is your site, you should be able to control what drive though taking your information to some extent, be it on the Internet or not. I’m now off to put on my tin hat, install barbed wire fencing around my house and instruct my datacenter to restrict all traffic to and from my server, just because I feel like it!

Our crawler has visited your web site?

Do you have any questions?
1) Why is your robot visiting my web site? Laycat crawler is a web documents indexing robot.

5) What is the search engine this web crawler is working for? The search engine this crawler is working for is currently in an early
development stage, and will go public as soon as we achieve the beta stage.

His job is to retrieve millions of pages from the world wide web
in order to feed a search engine. 

6) Why is your crawler using an anonymous user agent? 

Many documents found on the internet are generated dynamicaly, and may present
different content to crawlers than they would to regular visitors by examining
the user agent string. Examples of pages adding links to gambling, adult
content web sites when a crawler is visiting are plethora.

This practice is called cloaking, and the goal is to fool crawlers and
search engines in order to make them index some different content
than a normal person would actually see.

This is what we might call search engine spamming.

To avoid that kind of practice, the crawler uses an anonymous user agent,
and it will remain that way until we have enough data to do it the best way.
At this point we will of course consider using a dedicated user agent.

Most antivirus software use the same method as we do when scanning web pages.

There is no real need for a webmaster to detect a crawler using the
user agent string since this crawler respects the Robot Exclusion Standard,
and webmasters can decide to allow him to visit or not using this standard.

Please also note that the crawler will never fetch more than one page every
two seconds on a same IP address, thus never eating server's resources.=4

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