[Python-Dev] http://www.python.org/dev/doc/devel still available

Tim Parkin tim at pollenation.net
Wed Feb 15 11:11:49 CET 2006

Guido van Rossum wrote:

> (Now that I work for Google I realize more than ever before the
> importance of keeping URLs stable; PageRank(tm) numbers don't get
> transferred as quickly as contents. I have this worry too in the
> context of the python.org redesign; 301 permanent redirect is *not*
> going to help PageRank of the new page.)
Hi Guido,

Could you expand on why 301 redirects won't help with the transfer of
page rank (if you're allowed)? We've done exactly this on many sites and
the pagerank (or more relevantly the search rankings on specific terms)
has transferred almost overnight. The bigger pagerank updates (both
algorithm changes and overhauls in approach) seem to only happen every
few months and these also seem to take notice of 301 redirects (they
generally clear up any supplemental results).

The addition of the docs.python.org was also intended (I thought) to be
used in the google customised search (the google page you go to when you
search from python.org). I'm not sure if that go lost in implementation
but the idea was that the google box would have a radio button for

I agree that docs.python.org should only be the current documentation
however what about the large amount of people who use 2.3 as standard?
perhaps the docs23.python.org makes sense.

In terms of pagerank for the different versions of the docs, would it
make sense to 'hide' the older versions of the docs with a noindex so
that general google searches will only return the current docs.

<aside> Google seems to have a policy of ranking 'long standing' links
with a higher pagerank weighting, hence older versions of python docs
ranking higher). Hence keeping a single 'current' set of docs and having
all inbound links pointing to them (e.g. docs.python.org) will gradually
build up the search ranking.</aside>

+1 on docs.python.org only containing current (with the caveat that
there be an equivalent for users of specific versions, e.g. 2.3 users)

Tim Parkin

p.s. All my knowledge of how google work is gained through personal
research so the terminology, techniques and results may be completely
wrong (and also may vary from time to time) - however they do reflect
direct experience.

p.p.s regarding 'site:', 'allinurl:' and other google modifiers; It
would seem a good idea to create a single page that helped site users
make such searches without having to learn how the modifiers work.

It maybe should be noted that you can also add a 'temporary redirects'
(302's) which is taken by google to mean "leave the original search
results in place". This has also worked for us (old urls remain the same
as far as google is concerned).

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