[thelist] Client Problem

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 27 23:48:52 CST 2003

> From: "Derry Talvain" <derry at artema.com.au>
> Now I am having another problem in that the client has done a search
> on his website and the actually evolt posts come up in the google
> results for his site (I published the address in my emails so others
> could look at it). He is really unhappy about it and about the content
> of the emails as some members on the list really criticised him and he
> really does not want anyone to read them.

derry, this is something that has popped up once before, and it's a 
request that i cannot personally address because i only administer 
thelist... i can forward it on and let the ones who have the ability 
to munge the archives discuss it, but that's it for now...

it's worth noting some things, however...

this list is publically archived, has been all along, and says so on 
the signup page...

it also enjoys a good deal of traffic from spiders and has lots of 
content that's going to get it indexed...

outbound links from here will carry more weight than outbound links 
from, say, a chamber of commerce site...

as such, anyone on the planet can see the archives... i'd like to 
think that, as web professionals, we could have all made that 
connection before posting URLs of live sites, or even client staging 

as web professionals, i'd also presume that we all have the ability 
to upload files to a generic staging address, that we have a sandbox 
that we can use to move things around easily and temporarily...

for years, i've kept an /xfer directory on my personal site just so i 
don't expose my clients (or their projects) to indexing... i also put 
robots-friendly meta tags in there telling spiders to bugger off...

going forward, i'd recommend everyone else does the same... grab a 
sample file or two, or a chunk of the site, and upload it to a 
generic directory with generic names... post that file, and when 
you're done, wipe it so even if you forget the nofollow meta tag, the 
spider will have a very small window of time from which to grab and 
cache the site...

i'd also suggest that you try to float the problem site up the 
rankings with more work on the elements that raise a site, not that 
you indicate that the critique appears first... my own site has been 
mentioned here many times, but it takes an awfully specific search to 
get it to show up on the first page of google results, if at all...

so, until we can figure out a good way to do this, we should all use 
what we know as web developers, and expect these posts will get 
indexed, and take the necessary steps to ensure the sites don't...

and asking people not to use the name of the site in their critiques 
can help, but hey, they're only people, they'll forget...

my latest book project:
  Web Graphics for Non-Designers
  ISBN: 1904151159

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