Hi! Do you remember blogs? Well, this used to be one. Now it just serves as an archive for my multiple Twitter accounts.

7 January 2003

Rewriting it all?

A few days ago, I was thinking about the fact the Google doesn’t work on my site, and I had to code the search box myself. And I realized why Google hates me. Because they’re jalous. That I’m a great programmer. That I don’t work for them, despite my talent. That my site is so great. That it’s in PHP.

All my pages have addresses like index.php?page=xxx&etc. Which is bad for so many reasons, but I just found out a new one: Google (and probably other search engines too) sees all my links begin with index.php, and decide they all point to the same pages.

The webmaster guidelines say: If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a ’?’ character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them small.. And it’s true that my biography, for instance, though its URL is index.php?page=ego, is indeed on Google. But the blog archives aren’t, because the parameters are farther away, or they’re bigger, or they’re not named page. I don’t know exactly, but the point is, all that’s left of my blog is the home page. Then how can I expect people to find me by chance, while they’re looking for online porn?

By the way, this problem isn’t only mine. Dendromatt suffers the same fate, which isn’t surprising considering the site’s scripts are siblings of mine. But, more importantly, chances are it also affects B2 users. MovableType, GreyMatter, Pivot or WhatHaveYou bloggers have nothing to fear, but B2 uses the same URL format as me, so you should beware.

If I were the administrator of the garoo.net web server, I could use Apache’s mod rewrite to transform the URLs into more human-readable, and google-readable ones (as the B2 creator obviously does). But I’m not. I could move the site to the server we own, but I don’t like the idea of putting every single site of mine on the same machine, or even the same network. So I’m gonna have to reorganize everything, change the whole site structure, move everything around, and overhaul the blog administration interface to generate files every time I post.

Or maybe I can just decide to live without search engines. It’s a nice alternative. A simpler one. How many readers would I actually gain if I was referenced correctly? Half one?

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