If you've ever built a site for use on the web you probably know about search engine spiders such as Googlebot. You probably know that you can control how they index your pages by using the Robots Meta Tag. With this tag you can tell the bot whether or not to index the page and whether to follow the links within it.
Domino uses this tag to prevent bots from indexing views. This might sound odd. An view without an index? Surely not! Well, forget about the index in the Notes sense. We're talking about Domino. When Domino serves the view to the browser it includes the Robots Meta Tag in the HTML like so:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
So, any form that is a $$ViewTemplate will never appear when searching the web. For the most part this is good. It works well with this site. I don't want it to index the Articles view, as long as it actually indexes the articles within. Imagine you search for a combination of keywords that happen to appear in the document's abstract shown in that view. You don't want to open the site at the view level and have to scan for the document itself. Luckily this doesn't happen and all is well.
However, this isn't always the desired behaviour. The problem is that Domino gives us no way of removing the Robots tag from the View. Another example of the HTML control-freakery that annoys me so much about Domino. Apparently it's a known bug. Not that that helps. They've known about it for a long time now.
In an attempt to work round it I'm trying an experiment. Using the HTML Head Content of the $$ViewTemplate I've added a conflicting Meta Tag, like so:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex"> <meta name="robots" content="index,follow">
What we're testing is whether the conflicting tag is actually over-riding. Which of the tags do the search engines believe? Hopefully it's the second one and we have ourselves a workaround. If it's the first tag they encounter then we're scuppered as we can't introduce our tag before Domino's!
To test this out I've created a database with two views. The first view is normal and only has the noindex tag on it. The second view has the additional Meta Tag that should over-ride this. There is also a document that I can use to see when Google (et al?) has got round to visiting. I'll report back when I know the results...