[Mailman-Users] Robot Tag

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Mon May 4 20:22:52 CEST 2009

John Webb wrote:

>I am still confused about the source of the Meta Tag META 
>NAME=robots" CONTENT="noindex,follow" . Our archive indexes have the 
>"noindex,follow" tag, but the pages for each message have "index, nofollow".
>We want our archives to be available for unrestricted spidering and 
>indexing throughout all of the pages. What do we need to do to enable 
>the correct tag in our html?
>What exactly does the follow or nofollow part of it do?

The tags that are there are the appropriate ones. Brad Rogers has
explained (no)follow, but the idea is that when searching for
keywords, you don't want to hit words in subjects on the index pages;
you want to hit the posts themselves, so the index pages have
noindex,follow to not index that page but to follow the links to the
actual posts. The posts themselves have index,nofollow so that they
are indexed, but links within them to other posts or to external sites
are not followed.

If you feel these are not appropriate, you can always change or remove
them by editing the archidxhead.html, archtoc.html, archtocnombox.html
and article.html templates <http://wiki.list.org/x/jYA9>.

>On a different topic.... I see several threads and methods concerning 
>the use of search engines for searching the archives. What would be 
>the most simple way for us to add a way for users to search for 
>keywords in our archives?

The following form will submit a Google search for the entered words
restricted to the public archive for LISTNAME at the site

<form action="http://www.google.com/search">
<input name=q type=hidden value="site:lists.example.com">
<input name=q type=hidden value="inurl:pipermail/LISTNAME">
<input maxlength=2048 name=q size=20 title="Google Search" value="">
<input name=btnG type=submit value="Search">

This could be added to the appropriate templates, e.g.
archidxhead.html, archtoc.html and archtocnombox.html.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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