Tweaking the Robot Tweak

Recently, I updated my Blosxom template to provide <meta name="robots" value="..." /> tags on each of my pages. The idea is to set the value to "index,follow" for permalinks and to "noindex,follow" for all other pages (i.e., index pages) to prevent category and date archives from being returned by search engines.

It has been bothering me for several days that the side affect of this change is that my blog homepage, http://jclark.org/weblog/ is now marked noindex. This is particularly an issue for me since I normally use the blog homepage URL when posting on other sites, etc. Tonight a comment to that post from Lou Quillio got me to do some checking. It appears that Google Searches for my name that used to return the blog homepage in the top 10 hits no longer do so.

In order to undo this damage, I decided to serve "index,follow" for the blog homepage as well as for permalinks. In order to make this change, I’ve updated my head.html template:

<head>
  <!-- other head stuff like title omitted for brevity -->
  <?$storystate::blogroot>
    <meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
  </?>
  <?$storystate::permalink>
    <meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
  </?>
  <?$storystate::archive>
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" />
  </?>
  <?$storystate::category>
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" />
  </?>
</head>

As before, this requires Rael Dornfest’s interpolate_fancy plugin and my own storystate plugin. It’s a bit cumbersome, but it works. Now I just have to wait and see if it fixes my Google juice.

Update: Re-enabling the indexing of jclark.org/weblog seems to have done the trick. It’s once again the number 2 result for “Jason Clark” and the number three hit for “jclark”.

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5 Responses to “Tweaking the Robot Tweak”

  1. David Engel Says:

    Simplified? Only one plugin<br/>

    This can be done with only one plugin (the interpolate_fancy). The following lines should do it:

    It may not appear as nice without the story_state bits, but I think it should work the same.

  2. Jason Says:

    Removing storystate<br/>

    David-

    That looks like it should work; I’ll try to test it later. The whole reason I created storystate was that I had problems with interpolate_fancy not working correctly with complex tests. Of course, that was when it first came out. When I have a chance, I’ll check that I have an up-to-date i_f and test this out. If anyone else is using David’s code, please post your results here.

  3. dugh Says:

    also<br/>

    the reason i like the storystate version is i can read it!

    a lot of us blosxom users aren’t programmers, after all, and with the storystate example i actually understand quickly what is going on and can think of other things i could apply similar interpolation for. someday i’ll be able to whip out code like you did there, david, but not yet!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Googlebot Guiding Cleverness Backfires<br/>

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Googlebot Guiding Cleverness Backfires<br/>