As I have been playing more with IPv6 I have noticed even Google is not returning search results for IPv6 only sites. My own test site – ipv6.cybernode.com has been indexed by Googlebot – but the pages do not show up in Google results.
So I started thinking – well, what if they did? Most people would not be able to reach the site in question, since most ISPs do not have IPv6 for their end-users. So really, why would Google display a page link that 99.999999% of their users can’t reach?
What’s needed? I think we need two things:
1 – An icon that search engines can use to note that the result in question is an IPv6 only site. This will need to be accompanied by a public information campaign, but this will be necessary anyway.
2 – Browsers can’t just return 503 service unavailable. Most users don’t know what this means and it gives them nothing to act on. Google said there is a page there with information I want – why can’t I get there …
Browsers need to help the users by:
- if there is only an AAAA record and no A record and the user does not have IPv6 connectivity then display an error message along the lines of ‘This site is only available over IPv6. Your computer does not have IPv6 connectivity. Contact your ISP and demand IPv6 connectivity today.’ Maybe even use some geo-location services to determine the users IP address and display their ISP name.
[UPDATE] – I did find this feature request for Chromium but it got a ‘won’t fix’ response – I think they should reconsider as this is going to be a problem going forward