[wp-hackers] Rewriting search URL

Sebastian Herp newsletter at scytheman.net
Sun Apr 24 10:14:19 GMT 2005

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 ;-)

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