GoogleBot Experiment Success!

A month has past since I made a change to my WordPress templates to experiment with Google bot (see previous post) and I can proudly report that it works like a charm.
My original problem was that Google was returning search results pointing to index-style pages on my Blog instead of the post’s themselves. These index pages like Categories & Archives would quickly update and the majority of visitors coming from Google search results were having a poor experience – the post that drew them in wasn’t obviously visible.
I knew I could use Robots.txt directives to control the INDEX-ing and FOLLOW-ing of my site, but I was hesitant about applying experimental rules to all Search Engine robots. Thankfully GoogleBot looks for a header specific to itself only, this let me apply custom rules to Google only very easily.
Using my WordPress templates I added the following header on all index-style pages except the home page:
<meta name="GOOGLEBOT" content="NOINDEX,FOLLOW"/>
Basically this is instructing GoogleBot to follow links on this page, but not to index the page itself. The end result is that search results pointing to my blog are using the ‘permalink’ URL, not the index page it is listed on.
😉

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