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Re: [wp-hackers] Rewriting search URL

  • To: wp-hackers@lists.automattic.com
  • Subject: Re: [wp-hackers] Rewriting search URL
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <r@schestowitz.com>
  • Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 13:13:58 +0100
  • Delivery-date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 13:13:59 +0100
  • Envelope-to: roy@schestowitz.com
  • In-reply-to: <426B7D2B.20201@txfx.net>
  • References: <ade92a0e0504211328672b8a1d@mail.gmail.com> <1114120821.4268227588b8e@> <ade92a0e050421153079101630@mail.gmail.com> <426B6595.7000503@myrealbox.com> <426B717B.2060701@scytheman.net> <426B7D2B.20201@txfx.net>
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Quoting Mark Jaquith <mark.wordpress@txfx.net>:

Sebastian Herp wrote:

Matthew Thomas wrote:

Peak Discharge wrote:

That changes my url into the form of http://www.unicorns.com/?s=string, which is a progress. The aim, however is to change all search urls to http://www.unicorns.com/search/string

Sorry to crash the coding party here, but could I just point out that this is rather a bad idea?

Because an URL like this doesn't have any "?"s in it, Google (and other search engines) won't know it's a page of search results, so whenever someone happens to link to it, search engines will index it *in addition to* the actual article pages. The end result will be that search engines are cluttered with result pages from your own search engine (indeed, I've seen sites trying to game Google using this technique). Worse, the results will often be irrelevant because they'll be plucking keywords from the summaries of several distinct Weblog entries.

If you want cruft-free search result URLs, I suggest aiming for something like <http://example.com/search?cat+pictures>. Same number of characters, but the ? tells indexers (and geeky humans, who should not be neglected) that the page quite probably isn't static writing.

Good point, but I have linked a search result in one of my blog posts and I am having visitors from Google for exactly that search. If there is a link to a search, google (and others) are likely to include it in their index (unless you add some special meta tags or robots.txt). If there are is no link, how should google ever know what to index? It's not like the googlebot sits in front of my searchform and tries different phrases ;-)

In robots.txt:

User-agent: * Disallow: /search/

This is a gross use of links. Use static addresses (or pseudo-static) whenever possible. Search engines will index dynamic search results pages, but the gain in terms of ranking (e.g. PageRank) is low or non-existent. This was a -discussed topic in alt.internet.search-engines.


Roy S. Schestowitz

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