[LON-CAPA-admin] "Googling" loncapa john abbott gives correct server, but with wrong domain
michael.dugdale at johnabbott.qc.ca
Thu Sep 29 09:16:01 EDT 2011
> I thought the goal is to have "loncapa johnabbott" list your machine on top
Not necessarily -- the problem is our *machine* is coming up at the top of the list, but with the query strings for other domains. Previously, it was other machines (e.g., SFU would rank pretty highly). In those cases, it was a little more obvious that they were at the wrong machine, since johnabbott appeared nowhere in the URL. Some would figure out to set the domain to johnabbott and continue using SFU's server. But many would figure out that they wanted a johnabbott server.
Lately, though, the johnabbott server has been popping up at the top of the list, but with a query string set to (often) login?domain=elps, login?domain=csm, etc… (depends on the actual search terms entered). They recognize galileo.johnabbott.qc.ca as the machine they want to access, but (somehow) don't notice that the domain has been incorrectly set for them (not that colour schemes, logos, etc.. aren't a subtle clue that something's not right).
So, I'd be happier than I am now if the John Abbott servers were de-listed altogether, reverting to the old days where at least the URL wasn't the one they were looking for.
Happiest of all would be having the site indexed, but without query strings (or, with just the login?domain=johnabbott string allowed) -- I had thought that this wasn't possible with robots.txt, but I've found a few links that suggest it may work. I'll give it a try and see if the results are better.
On 2011-09-29, at 08:50 , Gerd Kortemeyer wrote:
> But wouldn't that achieve the opposite of what you want? I thought the goal is to have "loncapa johnabbott" list your machine on top; when you block Google, it is definitely going elsewhere.
> - Gerd.
> On Sep 29, 2011, at 8:42 AM, Michael Dugdale wrote:
>> Thanks for the reply. Good to know that I'm not alone.
>> I checked the access logs, and yes indeed googlebot was trying to access the robots.txt file. So, I've created one to disallow everything. I'll also talk to our IT people and see if they have a webmaster account. Apparently there is a way to de-list a URL using the Webmaster Tools.
>> On 2011-09-29, at 07:18 , Gerd Kortemeyer wrote:
>>> Unfortunately, this is a known problem. So far, I have not come up with any good solution. Trying to make Google do certain things is like alchemy, they don't tell you how they operate, and there is a potentially large delay loop in seeing any effects. I am not sure Google listens to robots.txt and meta-tags. One thing you could try is look at your access log if Google even tries to get a robots.txt file - if you never see any access to that filename from a Google robot, they don't use it.
>>> I am afraid the best solution is to again tell the students to go to the right URL … yes, I know, our students are the same …
>>> - Gerd.
>>> On Sep 28, 2011, at 11:21 PM, Michael Dugdale wrote:
>>>> I'm not sure how this has occurred, but somewhere out there, google has created a link that is causing a bit of a headache. Rather than use the links provided by their teachers, students have been "googling" lon-capa john abbott qc ca in order to get to their assignments.
>>>> Interestingly enough, google seems to have some inkling that our little installation exists. However, all of the top hits involve a pre-selected domain that isn't ours. Depending on the search terms used, the domains elps, csm, ndsu etc… all show up. The domain johnabbott does not.
>>>> Needless to say, this has been causing some serious headaches b/c the students don't notice the incorrect domain (or colour scheme, or school logo) and complain about not being able to log in.
>>>> I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and/or could offer some advice on mitigating this issue. I was thinking, perhaps, a robots.txt file?
>>>> Many thanks,
>>>> Michael Dugdale,
>>>> Department of Physics
>>>> John Abbott College
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>>>> LON-CAPA-admin at mail.lon-capa.org
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