Forum OpenACS Q&A: Google Changes The Rules - Again!

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Posted by Steve Manning on
We had a call from a customer of ours last week whos ecommerce site had mysteriously dropped off Google's natural searches.

According to their marketing people it was because Google had changed the rules involving sites which redirect with 302's (something to do with page rank fixing according to them). Ours was redirecting the site root to /shop and then the session handler was redirecting again after adding ?usca_p=t to the URL. Apparently Google don't like/cannot handle two redirects like this. So I fixed it by adding a .vuh to the site root to internally redirect to the /shop/index page and I've also modded ec_create_new_session_if_necessary to just return if the user agent contains googlebot, msnbot or slurp.

Sure enough when I checked today they are back up to 4th in the natural search.

I'm just posting this incase anyone else is suffering the same problem.

- Steve

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
This has been discussed before, e.g. in April 2003. Adding support for 'ns_returnredirect -code 301 $url' to AOLserver (should be easy) and then using that from OpenACS still seems like the best solution to me, but I don't know if AOLserver SF Feature Request #724477 has gone in yet.