Interesting. Thanks for the code. I was planning to use mod_rewrite to strip it out, but I wanted to first find out what it is and where it is coming from. I am a bit surprised to find a lack of information about this on the web.
The strange thing is that it is not just a Google issue. The MSN bot was also hitting the site with that URL. Do you suspect that doing a search while logged into a Google account is altering URLs in search results? That still should not affect the MSN bot, because those URLs should not exist in their index unless they find them on a page somewhere.
Both Google and MSN bots kept returning yesterday using the URLs with the usg parameter, but no longer appeared to be getting stuck in the loop on the home page after I removed the Previous link. GoogleBot is back again this morning with that URL. The URL is generating a status code 200.
The secondary part of this is the apparent bug within WordPress that allows a querystring attached to a URL to be injected within a URL on the category pages, which would also cause the problem because the Previous link still lands on the first page of the category.
Will, have you run into this before? Are you actively using the mod_rewrite code on your sites?
I tried the mod_rewrite rule, but it does not appear to work. I tried adding a caret at the start, but still nada. It looks like it should work. It is the first rule in the .htaccess file. I wonder is some of the WordPress rewrites are messing with it.
RewriteRule ^(.*)&usg=(.*)$ $1 [R=301]
Last edited by TopDogger; 28 July, 2009 at 21:33 PM.
"It's inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians." -Henrik Ibsen