Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is Google Indexing Google Voice Voicemails?

The answer to the above question is: probably not, but it makes for good paranoia.

Google Voice is a great service, but like all things Google, when something of yours is captured, you can expect it might be stored or indexed. But would anyone expect Google Voice voicemails to be captured?

Type in "site:https://www.google.com/voice/fm/*" in Google as a query, and you will get a list of voicemails, some of which appear to be test messages, but not all of them.

First highlighted today by BGR, it appears this was first asked about on a Google forum in late September. The reply, by a Google employee, was:
Since the initial idea behind posting a voicemail, was precisely to share it with others, we did not restrict crawling of those messages that users post on the web, but we can certainly understand that users would want to make them public on their sites but not necessarily searchable directly outside of their own website. We made a change to prevent those to be crawled so only the site owner can decide to index them.
Thanks
Vincent
Of course, I'm not even sure what the above means, since I don't see a place on Google Voice to halt indexing. I'm thinking these are just test messages that were indexed somehow. Of course, this one makes one think I might be wrong (the transcription is way off).
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