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From Daniel Gruno <>
Subject Googling for documentation
Date Thu, 10 May 2012 10:57:13 GMT
Hello all you docs@ people,

When a user wants to learn more about httpd, one of the most common ways
is to google "apache [something]", for example "apache directoryindex",
"apache virtualhost", "apache rewrite" and so on. When a user does this
particular bit, the top suggestion from Google is, in 9 out of 10
searches, our very old and smelly 2.0 documentation.

I'll be frank: I don't like it and I want that to change. It's not ideal
for our users to blindly wander onto the 2.0 documentation and (try to)
use deprecated features and directives, and it pains me whenever I see
someone on #httpd linking to the 2.0 docs, because I know they got that
link from googling the directives they wanted to share.

So, a few questions arise that I would like for us to discus:

1) Are the 2.0 docs at their end-of-life soon? (or should this be
declared by dev@?)

2) If not, then can we at least agree that they are outdated, and people
who wind up in the 2.0 docs were probably looking for 2.2/2.4?

3) If so, should we take steps to ensure, that people, who google for
our docs and wind up in the 2.0 section, are made aware of this?

A couple of suggestions were made on IRC on how to combat this:

1) Add a big background image on the 2.0 docs which spells "DEPRECATED"

2) Add a notice, just like we have when translations are outdated, which
tells the user that 2.2 or 2.4 is the preferred version today, and add a
link to both those docs.

3) Forcibly redirect any visits to 2.0 docs with Google as referrer to
the 2.2 or current/ docs.

4) Deny googlebot access to the 2.0 documentation, and hope that it'll
get the point and stop returning out 2.0 documentation as the best
result in searches.

Any comments, suggestions etc?

With regards,

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