Will Cisco gear become search engine toll collectors?

Cisco has filed a patent application on a method for seeding web-crawling search engines.

Cisco has filed a patent application on a method that seeds search engine crawlers using intercepted network traffic. Cisco's method includes monitoring data packets exchanged in a computer network over which documents having respective location identifiers are distributed, so as to detect a request to access a given document. A location identifier of the given document is extracted from the request. The location identifier is provided to a search engine that searches for data in a set of the documents, so as to cause the search engine to add the given document to the set. I'm wondering whether Cisco has cleverly found a way for its gear to become search engine toll collectors. For example, Cisco's patent application specifically states:

Although the embodiments described herein mainly address seeding of web-crawling search engines, the principles of the present invention can also be used for additional applications, such as for controlling the re-crawl frequency for a given Web page. It will thus be appreciated that the embodiments described above are cited by way of example, and that the present invention is not limited to what has been particularly shown and described hereinabove. Rather, the scope of the present invention includes both combinations and sub-combinations of the various features described hereinabove, as well as variations and modifications thereof which would occur to persons skilled in the art upon reading the foregoing description and which are not disclosed in the prior art.

Fig 1 A block diagram that schematically illustrates a system for searching for data in a computer network: FIG. 1 is a block diagram that schematically illustrates a system 20 for searching in a computer network 24, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Network 24 may comprise, for example, a Wide-Area Network (WAN) such as the Internet, a Metropolitan-Area Network (MAN), a Local-Area Network (LAN) or a combination of such network types. Network 24 may comprise a public network or an enterprise network (sometimes referred to as an Intranet). Additionally or alternatively, network 24 may comprise any other suitable network type. The network typically comprises a packet-switched network, such as an Internet Protocol (IP) network.

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