Sunday, February 03, 2008

LiveJournal tests new portal pages and breaks their search privacy system

At LiveJournal there's a simple checkbox option for whether you want your LJ posts to be indexed by the search engines or not. It is perfectly possible to have a public LiveJournal but still check the box to keep search engines out.

LiveJournal, recently sold to a Russian portal, has recently started to test a portal page system where appropriate recent posts are aggregrated together to form a blog/news splash page.


You can access these portal pages by clicking on one of the links in the LiveJournal navigation bar which appears at the top of all LJ blogs. For example, here's a link to the Technology page.

The problem? It's only a small issue but the search engines index these pages. One of the reasons I first took my LJ to the noindex side was because I wanted to be able to mention work by name without trigging a host of Google Alerts (I later went fully private and locked the journal to friends only). If my LiveJournal was noindex but was syndicated to these portal pages then I would still trigger those Google Alerts.

Here's a sample of the new LiveJournal 'tag portals'.


You can clearly see the intro to the post from Full Moons Rock. If you pop over to their actual LiveJournal post, though, and take a look at the source code you can see the noindex, nofollow, noarchive tags in force. (Well. Click on the image and you can see them!)



Ooops. Is there an opt-out for this? Shouldn't LJ be excluding posts which are intented to be omitted from the search engines from these new portal pages?

0 comments: