robots exclusion issues
These are externally raised issues about Robot Exclusion Profile with broadly varying degrees of merit. Thus some issues are REJECTED for a number of obvious reasons (but still documented here in case they are re-raised), and others contain longer discussions. Some issues may be ACCEPTED and perhaps cause changes or improved explanations in the spec.
IMPORTANT: Please read the robots exclusion FAQ before giving any feedback or raising any issues as your feedback/issues may already be resolved/answered.
Submitted issues may (and probably will) be edited and rewritten for better terseness, clarity, calmness, rationality, and as neutral a point of view as possible. Write your issues well. — Tantek
Resolved issues that have no further actions to take. These will likely be moved to a separate page like robots-exclusion-issues-closed.
- The "efficacy" and "collateral damage" issues from rel="nofollow" also apply.
- Should earlier values take precedence or later? Does
class="robots-nofollow robots-follow"means the same as
metatag suggests not using conflicting or repeating directives and so does not specify precedence.
<p class="robots-noindex robot1-index">is an apparent conflict but in this case the more specific should obviously override the general at its point of applicability, no matter what order the directives appear in.
- Interaction with rel="nofollow": what does
class="robots-follow" rel="nofollow"mean? Currently rel="nofollow" has no profile URI defined, so the Robot Exclusion Profile takes precedence. In the future, per XMDP's Using Multiple Profiles,
the URIs in the 'profile' attribute are to be treated most significant (first) to least significant (last).
Modern search engines normally support phrase queries. A phrase query only maches documents that contain the words of the query, consecutively and in the same order. That does beg the question of whether a matched phrase should be allowed to straddle a
Intuitively this should not be allowed. The phrase query
"word1 word2" should not match a document that contains
word1 <b class="robots-noindex>ignore</b> word2. This does allow for an interesting tool for webmasters can specify that juxtaposed words not be considered to be phrases -- just specify an empty unindexed region as in
word1 <b class="robots-noindex></b> word2.
- Does not allow control of specific UAs à la A Standard for Robot Exclusion
If it is actually necessary to control specific UAs here is an possible soluiton. Example:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> <html> <head> <link rel="schema.RobotExclusion" href="http://example.org/.../" /> <meta name="RobotExclusion.RobotName1" content="Foo Bot" /> <meta name="RobotExclusion.RobotName2" content="Bar Bot" /> <meta name="RobotExclusion.RobotName3" content="Evil Bot" /> </head> <body> <h1>Page</h1> <p class="robots-noindex">This paragraph shouldn't be indexed by any bot.</p> <p class="robot3-noindex">This paragraph should be indexed by every bot except "Evil Bot".</p> <p class="robots-noindex robot1-index">This paragraph should only be indexed by "Foo Bot".</p> </div> </body> </html>
Of course it is a waste of bandwith if there are "RobotExclusion.RobotName" meta tags on every page of a website. Thus this metatags should be stored on one page - perhaps the main page - so they can be maintained easily.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> <html> <head> <link rel="schema.RobotExclusion" href="http://example.org/.../" /> <link rel="RobotExclusion.Names" href="http://mypage.com/" /> </head> <body> <h1>Page</h1> <p class="robots-noindex">This paragraph shouldn't be indexed by any bot.</p> <p class="robot3-noindex">This paragraph should be indexed by every bot except "Evil Bot".</p> <p class="robots-noindex robot1-index">This paragraph should only be indexed by "Foo Bot".</p> </div> </body> </html>
- The keywords
noneare defined by the Robots META Tag as convenience shortcuts to enable or disable the combination of
noindex, but predate Google's
noarchiveand should not be considered to include it. As a result, for purposes of clarity and simplicity (the XMDP Minimalism principle), they are not included in this version of the Robot Exclusion Profile.
Suitability as a microformat
- Isn't the Robot Exclusion Profile designed for machines first and humans second instead of vice versa? Yes, just as much as rel="nofollow", the deployed microformat that it's designed to replace.
- I'd like to echo this concern. We need to discuss whether or not this is a suitable microformat. --RyanKing 13:34, 17 Jan 2006 (PST)
- As I read this, I had the idea to use this microformat to differentiate the real content of a webpage from the rest (navigation, header, footer, ...) - you could do this by marking the "real content" with the tag "index", but thats not really clear. Maybe you could create a new tag to mark the really important things on the page (the "real content") from the rest. --Habakuk 03:42, 14 Jan 2007 (PST)
- And another idea is to mark an area of a page as independent from the rest (p.e. for listings of softwaretools - if i search for an software that can do a and b i don't want to get a result that offers me a software that can do a and another that can do b). --Habakuk 03:42, 14 Jan 2007 (PST)
Please use this format (copy and paste this to the end of the list to add your issues):
YYYY-MM-DD raised by
- Issue 1: Here is the first issue I have.
- Issue 2: Here is the second issue I have.