It's a toroid, not a primate!

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

2010-05-12

My server acts as a secondary nameserver for primate.net, in which zone it is named ns.de.primate.net. I set that up long ago for a friend, and forgot all about it. Until now.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the other day that Google crawled various pages on my site as "http://ns.de.primate.net/whatever", and was happily presenting (some of) those results in preference to their proper toroid.org versions.

It's true that the site is reachable as ns.de.primate.net, and Apache will—since it doesn't recognise that name—serve the default VirtualHost, which is toroid.org. But I can't imagine why Google ever decided to use that name. I've never used it in a URL, public or otherwise. As far as I know, it's never been used for anything but name service for primate.net (and certainly not in a PTR record for my server's address).

I hope Google doesn't take it upon itself to use any of the other names by which my server happens to be accessible. Just in case, I added the following as the first (i.e. default) virtualhost in my httpd.conf. Now any request to a not-explicitly-configured name will be redirected to toroid.org.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    Redirect permanent / http://toroid.org/
</VirtualHost>

We can't have evil primates running around, after all.