Gold'en rant of the week : Google is too good at what it does...

Google may be part of the IT consciousness, but the indexing of the world's Web sites is far more in-depth than you might think.

Google's success is based on the complex algorithms its servers - and there are a lot of them around the world - use to index the many millions of Web sites on the Internet.

But Google's servers really do index all the available data, including error messages that result from its crawling sessions across a company Web portal.

This means you can tap in Google search strings such as `Apache test page' and `Error Com:1' to return Web sites with problematic pages.

From there, if so minded, you can craft quite specific Google searches to locate potential security loopholes on a number of Web sites.

Google argues that its search routines have to be this complex if it is to properly index from the smallest to the largest of Web portals.

Critics might argue that such actions are getting too close to port scanning for comfort. If Google probes a company's Web server, no-one bats an eyelid. Except, perhaps, the informed IT security manager.

You think I'm making this up? Tap in the words `Google Search Hacking' into the Google search engine to see what I mean.

Is it right that Google can do things like this? I don't think so, but Google seems to be getting away with it...