[pmwiki-users] Limiting search results (nofollow default)
Patrick R. Michaud
pmichaud at pobox.com
Tue Sep 19 08:26:00 CDT 2006
> I took a look at the MicroSoft live.com search page and was surprised at
> how different the search results were from google.com, in terms of
> grabbing and promoting near the top of the list certain PmWiki pages,
> such as PmWiki.PmWiki and Main.RecentChanges, as well as some
> semi-personal pages that had never appeared on google.com
> One approach I am thinking of is to add %nofollow% to my pagelist
> templates, to limit the opportunity for search rankings to be driven by
> automatically generated pagelists. (One problem: I'd be changing the
> distributed PageListTemplates page and, as a result, creating issues for
> future upgrades)
Somehow adding %nofollow% into pagelists seems like the wrong way to
do things -- i.e., it's solving the wrong problem. Plus, I can't
imagine that it's the pagelists that are skewing the search rankings;
or, if it is, then that indicates a poorly written ranking algorithm.
> If I wanted to do more that just change my pagelist templates, could I
> make a simple change in my config.php that would cause all links to use
> nofollow by default and, if so, would there be a easy way to bypass that
> to allow certain links to be followed?
Sure, just change the formatting of links in the $LinkPageExistsFmt
variable to include rel='nofollow':
"<a class='wikilink' rel='nofollow' href='\$LinkUrl'>\$LinkText</a>";
The variable for external links already has rel='nofollow' set by
default. I don't know of an easy way to force rel='follow' after
this has been set, however.
> Actually, it would probably work
> well if I changed the local config.php to add the new default and then
> shut it off with a group configuration, such as main.php that allowed
> the links in that group to be followed.
Sure, this could be done. But I still think that the pagelist
links aren't the cause of what you're observing at live.com .
What sort of search were you doing that gave surprising results?
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