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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Outbound Links and Forms

    Hey there,

    I have several forms on my website used to redirect the user. For instance, there is a "view tour" button used to redirect the user to the tour webpage. I love the button feel instead of just a plain link.

    My question is does google and yahoo count these forms as outbound links?

    I am hoping that they do. If not, I will simply redesign them to be CSS buttons.

    Any advice will be appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Travis Walters

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the button. If it is just an image with an href tag, then definitely google will follow it.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
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    Hey there,

    The following is what I mean by a form link:

    HTML Code:
    <form name="startTour" id="startTour" method="post" action="tour.cfm">
    		   
    <input class="button" type="submit" name="startTourBtn" value="Take a Tour" id="startTourBtn" title="Take a Tour" />
    			  
    </form>
    So my questions are as follows:

    1. Does this count as an outbound link?

    2. Will a crawler follow this link?

    3. Will PR be passed to this link?

    4. If PR is passed through forms, how can I assign "nofollow" to this form if that is even possible?

    Thanks again for any advice in this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Travis Walters

  4. #4
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I would tend to say "no" on this one.
    There needs to be a method for linking to the content in question with a normal link. Is that possible currently?

  5. #5
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Search engines don't submit forms so those won't be seen as links. If you were really concerned just block those pages in your robots.txt.

  6. #6
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    Hey there,

    If search engines do not submit forms, then why do people have prompts in forms to enter some random number?

    In addition, I have heard of bots placing items in carts, but that may be a regular link.

    Thanks for the comments so far. If anybody has any documentation on this, that would be great.

    Sincerely,
    Travis Walters

  7. #7
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    There are robots that exist that can fill out forms, but not the variety used by search engines. You are using Post for your form. If you used Get, you might be able to get a URL can be used elsewhere. As a rule of thumb, you need a url, not a form, if you are concerned about a search engine getting the data.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist speda1's Avatar
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    Search bots don't execute forms, but they may spider the form action url without any paramaters. You can block it with robots.txt if you prefer.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I have never seen a form count as a outbound link. I would not worry about it either way it would only be one link if they did count it.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    For instance, there is a "view tour" button used to redirect the user to the tour webpage. I love the button feel instead of just a plain link.
    Do you want the "tour" be spidered by Google?

    A form is a method for collecting and passing data. If you are simply linking to a tour, I can't think of any reason why you would need a form. You could just use the button to link directly to the tour.

    Brandon
    Home Recording Forum -
    Make 60% Commission Pushing my new mega system
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
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    Hey there,

    Thanks for the great information.

    It looks like the majority of people say that forms are not counted as outbound links.

    What are your recommendations for allowing google to crawl certain pages? For example, if you had a registration page, would you allow google to crawl it? Does allow google to crawl this page help your website?

    For the tour, I am thinking I do want this section crawled because I am going to provide valuable information that persuades the user to register.

    For the project and package specifications, I have detailed information about what is not allow on my websites. There are some undesirable terminology such as viruses, worms, etc. that I do not want associated with my site. So I ended up blocking this page in my robots.txt file.

    Any suggestions as to what pages should be blocked from crawlers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for those who do respond.

    Sincerely,
    Travis Walters

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    For the tour, I am thinking I do want this section crawled because I am going to provide valuable information that persuades the user to register.
    Okay, we ditch the form then. It's unnecessary if there are no options to select. Just link the image to the tour.

    What are your recommendations for allowing google to crawl certain pages? For example, if you had a registration page, would you allow google to crawl it? Does allow google to crawl this page help your website?
    I usually don't think about it. If I did, I'd probably put a nofollow on the registration page. No one I know searches for registration pages and they seldom answer anyone's questions.

    Any suggestions as to what pages should be blocked from crawlers will be greatly appreciated.
    There are no tricks to this that I can think of off the top of my head. Don't allow bots to spider pages that you don't want to be seen in the search engines or pages that may leak PR.

    Brandon
    Home Recording Forum -
    Make 60% Commission Pushing my new mega system
    Killer Home Recording


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