Family Hoof

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« on: September 11, 2005, 08:41:09 PM »
I've noticed that these forums are becoming more and more prevelant on Google's search results lately. Personally, I'm all for staying off of search engines and under the radar of commercial companies as much as possible. One way many of us have tried to do this is by typing company names in coded fashion. For example Name = N*ame. The spelling error makes that word invisible to searches, but has the negative effect of making it very difficult for us to search old topics right here on the forum.

My proposition --> create a master list of standard coded names for the companies we discuss. Preferably we would all conform to only one code name per company and then go back and edit onld posts so they're compliant. An alternative would be to keep all of the different variations in this thread and add it to a Meta so you'd know what to search for.

Allow me to start the list... N*eve = you know who

Please avoid using correct or complete spellings of company names in this thread so as not to defeat the purpose!


rodabod

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2005, 08:45:00 PM »
How about just having a * after the first letter like you suggested?

Like, A*KG, or N*eumann, etc, etc.

I take it using asterisks is safe? It doesn't cause some weird wildcard search does it?

R*oddy
Quote from: tv
punchy fat bastard chip

Butterylicious

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 09:50:22 PM »
I don't know if what you propose is really such a good idea or not.  Forums are certainly a doubled edged sword at best.  On one side it's nice to have a private club to discuss your interest with your cyber-pals, but on the other hand search engines are how strangers (such as me) find this place.  I've learned as much if not more just from lerking PRR responses for a few months than I learned in  almost 2 years of tech school.  Certainly as a forum gains popularity, it will also gain a proportionate number of spammers and/or undesireables.  Fortunately, the nature of our discussions lean towards an educated crowd so this is minimized.  Internet "flame wars" are a lot more common elsewhere.

I think Ethan and Co. do a fantastic job of maintaining this place.  It is not our place as users to decide if the forum is too searchable.  If they did not want this forum to be searchable, then why did they configure the boards to be viewable by all instead of by registered users only?  An oversight...... I think not.  I know a quality web-geek when I see one and Ethan is quality.

That's my $.02

Family Hoof

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2005, 10:07:11 PM »
Quote from: "rodabod"
How about just having a * after the first letter like you suggested?

Brilliant! :thumb:

Ethan

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 10:24:52 PM »
I have thought about the potential problem of being too search engine visible, and also even played with the idea of the "code name standard" too.  While I have taken some measures to keep some of the search engine traffic away (for practical purposes, i.e., nonsensical spammers and the like), I think taking active action to intentionally hide our conversations here would be like admitting to some wrong doing--and I do not believe that the intentions of the vast majority of the members here are malicious.  The few with questionable intentions that tread beyond what is legal, will eventually  be dealt with through legal action by those they offend, if the offended feels so inclined.  Overall, I feel this is a great group that I'm grateful to be a part of.

However, while we're on the subject, the "some measures" that I spoke of above involve 'asking' search engine crawlers not to search these forums.  I have been doing occasional checks to see the effect.  Google's page rank for this forum is effectively "0".  Other clues also leave me to believe that search engine crawlers are not indexing this site but rather Google is indexing the LINKS that point to this forum from MEMBER'S links on their websites.  Essentially, this is why the "standard codenames" would not work very well--because Google/Yahoo/etc...  isn't indexing this forum directly; they're being pointed to specific links on all the member's websites that provide links to specific topics throughout this forum.

As far as the major search engines are concerned I stopped allowing them to index these pages directly.  If the members want this forum to be more under the radar, they would have to decide to remove the links on their personal websites that link here.
I am just the Web Geek here.

adamasd

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2005, 01:57:38 AM »
The only thing i think our search is missing is a "search titles only" function, haveing it always search full text brings up alot of stuff that has nothing to do with the search.

adam
so there

Butterylicious

Making the forums more searchable = standards
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2005, 02:36:19 AM »
Quote from: "adamasd"
The only thing i think our search is missing is a "search titles only" function, haveing it always search full text brings up alot of stuff that has nothing to do with the search.

adam


I don't know what version of phpBB we're running here, but there is a mod for version 2.0.15 that does just this.  Installing mods sometimes sucks huge dumps.  phpBB's search feature is also know to get buggy as the database grows.  IMO phpBB is still the best free forum script.

As for sticking *'s in names, a different character would be a better choice since phpBB's search uses * as a wildcard.


 

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