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Subject: Re: [boost] boost and google search
From: Rene Rivera (grafikrobot_at_[hidden])
Date: 2011-11-30 10:19:22

On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 8:21 AM, Rene Rivera <grafikrobot_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> On 11/30/2011 8:13 AM, Rene Rivera wrote:
>> On 11/23/2011 10:46 AM, Nathan Ridge wrote:
>>> I am sure it is pretty common for users of boost to use google to search
>>>> for documentation/tutorials on their favorite library in boost. I have
>>>> found that the top hits are typically not the latest documents. For
>>>> example
>>>> I just searched for boost,foreach and a documentation from 1.35 was the
>>>> first hit. It would be great if there is a way to tell google to update
>>>> their links to the latest version. Anyone knows whether this is
>>>> possible,
>>>> and how to make it happen?
>>>> This problem probably applies to any search engine but I can only
>>>> comment
>>>> on google search.
>>> I have a related gripe: suppose I search google for "boost fusion".
>>> The first
>>> result is:
>>> Chapter 1. Fusion 2.1 - Boost 1.48.0
>>> So far, so good! But when I click on it, the address in my address bar
>>> is:
>>> When I then navigate to some page in the documentation, and copy the
>>> link to post it somewhere (perhaps in a stackoverflow answer or a forum
>>> post), the link is to the 1.48 docs, not the latest docs. When someone
>>> then
>>> looks at the answer/post two years later and clicks on the link, they are
>>> looking at a very outdated Boost version!
>> I would argue that in this case the behavior is actually good. Your SO
>> question and answer is dated and hence fits having a dated link.
>> Otherwise the link might point to non-existent documentation or totally
>> changed behavior on the referred page and hence invalidating your answer.
> And now that I think about it further I would argue that having the
> versioned link is the most pertinent use case. The release links are only
> wanted in two cases: when returning search results, and when specifically
> referring from other documentation. The first being the subject of the OP.

PS. Which suggest the most favorable solution as:

1. Change the release URLs to be temporary redirects (to make search
engines not discount the release URLs)
2. Block search crawlers from indexing the versioned trees of the docs.

Which should have the effect of searches returning the release links always
without loosing the redirects.

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