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SEO Experiment: Let Google Sort it Out

One way to prevent Google from crawling certain pages is to use <meta /> elements in the <head></head> section of your web documents. For example, if I want to prevent Google from indexing and archiving a certain page, I would add the following code to the head of my document: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”noindex,noarchive” /> I’m no SEO guru, but it is my general understanding that it is possible to manipulate the flow of page rank throughout a site through strategic implementation of <meta /> directives. Read more »

CSS Implementations of the Rich and Famous

A great way to improve your CSS skills is to check out the stylesheets used by other websites. Digging behind the scenes and exploring some applied CSS provides new ideas and insights about everything from specificity and formatting to hacks and shortcuts. Learning CSS by reading about ideal cases and theoretical applications is certainly important, but actually seeing how the language is applied in “real-world” scenarios provides first-hand knowledge and insight. While there are millions of standards-based, CSS-designed websites to explore, studying a few of the Web’s elite players and CSS experts helps to put things into perspective by providing […] Read more »

Unexplained Crawl Behavior Involving Tagged Query Strings

I need your help! I am losing my mind trying to solve another baffling mystery. For the past three or four months, I have been recording many 404 Errors generated from msnbot, Yahoo-Slurp, and other spider crawls. These errors result from invalid requests for URLs containing query strings such as the following: http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=spam http://perishablepress.com/press/page/3/?tag=code http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=email http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=xhtml http://perishablepress.com/press/page/4/?tag=notes http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=flash http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=links http://perishablepress.com/press/page/3/?tag=theme http://perishablepress.com/press/page/2/?tag=press ..plus hundreds and hundreds more 1. The URL pattern is always the same: a different page number followed by a query string containing one of the tags used here at Perishable Press, for example: “/?tag=something”. The problem is that there are […] Read more »

How to Verify the Four Major Search Engines

Keeping track of your access and error logs is a critical component of any serious security strategy. Many times, you will see a recorded entry that looks legitimate, such that it may easily be dismissed as genuine Google fare, only to discover upon closer investigation a fraudulent agent. There are many such cloaked or disguised agents crawling around these days, mimicking various search engines to hide beneath the radar. Thus, it is a good idea to implement a procedure for scanning and checking select agents for authenticity. In general, the verification process involves a “forward/reverse” DNS lookup, which is then […] Read more »

Get Back

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is a trip into the online past, offering glimpses of ancient website relics. Reaching back through the virtual dark ages of 1996, the Wayback Machine chronicles over 55 billion pages. Although many of the pages appear incomplete due to missing images, the Wayback Machine provides an invaluable resource, enabling users to experience and learn from the arcane internet of yesterday. Check out these archaic online offerings: netscape.com, circa December 31, 1996 microsoft.com, circa October, 1996 The first Google website, circa late 1998 Read more »

Robots Notes Plus

About the Robots Exclusion Standard 1: The robots exclusion standard or robots.txt protocol is a convention to prevent cooperating web spiders and other web robots from accessing all or part of a website. The information specifying the parts that should not be accessed is specified in a file called robots.txt in the top-level directory of the website. Notes on the robots.txt Rules: Rules of specificity apply, not inheritance. Always include a blank line between rules. Note also that not all robots obey the robots rules — even Google has been reported to ignore certain robots rules. Also, comments are allowed […] Read more »

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