Well I never 25 Feb, 2004
During the course of testing the recent site tweaks, I learned something new about the Domino HTTP task — specifically, how the server renders embedded views on the web. It’s puzzled me for some time why Google doesn’t seem to index individual weblog posts on this site (articles and the front page are fine), despite my best efforts with robots.txt and
meta tags. Well, all is now clear. I swear I wasn’t aware of this before: if a view is rendered within a
$$ViewTemplate form, Domino assumes that you don’t want the content indexed. In other words, this gets inserted at the top of your HTML:
<meta tag="robots" content="noindex">
There’s nothing the coder can do about this, and it overrides any meta tags one may subsequently create. The approach does make sense in general terms — why would anyone want to index an ordinary dynamic view? — but my issue with it is the lack of control over the tag’s insertion. Why do these things have to be “all or nothing”? There are valid reasons for wishing to override this setting. Take benpoole.com: the whole site is predicated upon the concept of the Domino-rendered view. You are reading this content from a view, whether you’re on the home page, or viewing via the permalink. Unlike most Domino weblog designs, readers do not see posts here as conventional Domino documents. So, a dilemma! Thankfully, there is a work-around.
Instead of opening the view within its template thus:
…/VIEWNAME?OpenView, do this:
Ugly eh? Same end-result, just nastier URL. However, this is now what I’m doing on this very site. I use Domino Developer Network’s re-direction system already, so no great shakes.
I hope this is useful to someone. Who knows, come the next Google-dance, perhaps people will be able to actually find this wee nugget of information :-)