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NOINDEX

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One of the features I personally like about FeedBlitz is the automatic creation of an online preview of your newsletter. It show subscribers what a mail from you will look like, and so encourages subscriptions because now they can be confident that it's content they're going to like. There's even a call to subscribe right at the top. The preview takes into account all your newsletter settings, so if you only show the first 350 characters (say) from each post in your mail, then the online preview also only has the first 350 characters.

Now, if you the publisher has the online preview link on your site - and many (but not all) do - then the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN et al.) will follow the link to the preview, index it and add it to their databases. This is what a search engine does and it's all automatic. Usually this is fine and desired.

But. An unintended consequence of this may be that your online preview appears before your own site in search engine results pages for terms you care about. You may not care about that (you might even think that that's good, I don't know), but if you don't want that to happen we've got a brand new capability to help you change that and restore the order you want to the relevant search engine results.

FeedBlitz will now add the relevant code to the preview to tell robots not to index your online preview if you check on the "NOINDEX" option in the second page of the Newsletter Settings screens. Once done, the next time a search engine happens by, it will see the tag and not add the page to its database (and it should, if well-behaved, remove any existing index also). So the FeedBlitz previews will disappear from search engines for newsletters with the option set on, ensuring that your FeedBlitz newsletter preview doesn't get in the way of your site. Since FeedBlitz doesn't control when search engines revisit links it may be a while (A few days or possibly weeks worst case) for the change to kick in, but kick in it eventually will if you change the option.

To set the NOINDEX option:

1) Go to the Newsletter Center for the site in question
2) Click "Newsletter Settings"
3) Click "Next"
4) Enable the "NOINDEX" check box
5) Click "Done" to save.

When you refresh the preview the robots "NOINDEX" metatag will be present on the page, ready to welcome the next visit from your favorite search engine's update robot.

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