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From Tim Bannister <is...@jellybaby.net>
Subject Re: [proposed] remove docs/1.3/
Date Thu, 01 Mar 2012 23:39:00 GMT
On 28 Feb 2012, at 14:57, Rich Bowen wrote:

>> That's what robots.txt is for!  Surely we can use that to stop indexing 2.0 as well
as 1.3?  Maybe even 2.2 once 2.4 is windows-ready and in the distros?
> 
> The rel canonical thing is a way to actively update the Google index for a particular
page and search term, and has been very effective in updating certain searches. For example,
searching Google for "rewriterule" has long given the 1.3 Rewrite Guide, but within 24 hours
of adding a rel canonical tag, it started pointing to the 2.2 mod_rewrite docs as the top
hit.

I agree with Nick.
Why not change http://httpd.apache.org/robots.txt so that the 1.3 documents are no longer
crawled? If I wanted to go through each page to make more fine-grained changes I'd only end
up adding:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

…which does almost exactly the same thing, for more effort.


The ASF doesn't really need extra help getting the top Google / Bing / whatever hit for “httpd”,
“Apache” etc. That's why most people use Link: … rel="canonical": they want to preserve
their PageRank.
But this discussion has been about the 1.3 docs having *too much* PageRank.


I can spot one downside. Excluding a document with robots.txt also blocks access to historical
versions via web.archive.org
Is this important?

-- 
Tim Bannister – isoma@jellybaby.net


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