An IPv6 search result icon and specific browser error message for IPv6?

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 – 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

3 thoughts on “An IPv6 search result icon and specific browser error message for IPv6?

  1. Geo-location isn’t even needed. There are a lot of websites that will return the user’s IP address for scripts and such, and setting one up isn’t hard. A simple whois from there will give the ISP name.

    Either way, Google could easily script detection for IPv6-compatibility in the search page, and include IPv6-only results only if the browser can handle them. While I like the “dangling a carrot” approach, I doubt Google is comfortable doing that to its users, even if it is for a good cause. Perhaps a better way would be a “There were IPv6-only results. Click here to include them. | What is IPv6?” button where the search suggestions would be.

    PS. The IPv6 detector in the right sidebar says “Walking to the future”, where I think maybe it is supposed to say “Welcome to the future.”

  2. this sounds like an interesting idea, maybe an extension could be made to provide this functionality rather than a browser update

    1. An extension is a start but the users who really need the extension are the users who don’t know enough about computers to get an extension.

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