Googlebot Needs Your Help!

Via ~stevenf, here’s a list of tips to help the Googlebot understand your website. I’m already doing most of these, but one tip on the use of the “robots” meta tag leapt out at me:

Webloggers: use the meta tags to help the Googlebot index only your permalinks, not your constantly changing front page. To do this, use
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" >
on your front page and
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow" >
on your posts’ permanent locations.

I’ve often noticed that Google searches of my site not only return individual posts, but also category and date archives. For an example, see this Google search for GarageBand on jclark.org. This tip should help alleviate the extraneous matches. I intend to implement this change as soon as I have a few minutes to do so (but changing the <meta > tags to <meta /> tags, to remain valid XHTML 1.1).

Implementing this via Blosxom shouldn’t be too hard. Those who use separate flavours for individual posts will have no problem at all. I don’t; instead I use my storystate plugin, which exposes the variable $storystate::permalink, which is true when viewing an individual post. Used in conjunction with Rael’s interpolate_fancy plugin (sort of a must with storystate), this will allow me to change the meta tags as needed.

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2 Responses to “Googlebot Needs Your Help!”

  1. dugh Says:

    i don’t suppose…<br/>

    you could post the code you used; for some reason the interpolate_fancy bits aren’t working the way i expect them (and i’m no specialist!). thank!

  2. Jason Says:

    My code<br/>

    I posted the details separately since my comment system is so sad… I needed the additional formatting. All the details are here: http://jclark.org/weblog/WebDev/Blosxom/robottweak.html