[wp-hackers] Rewriting search URL

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Sun Apr 24 12:13:58 GMT 2005

Quoting Mark Jaquith <mark.wordpress at 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

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list