Could Google index a Webpublisher database?

by Peter Tyrrell Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:40 AM

I hear people ask this question a lot: "Can Google index my Inmagic Webpublisher database?" And so far, the answer has been a disappointing "nope". Database records are only reachable via complicated URLs with long query strings, and search engine policy is to ignore such URLs.

But I had a thought today while listening to a .NET Rocks! podcast about the recent ASP.NET implementation of the MVC (model-view-controller) pattern, and how one of its big strengths is the ability to work with predictable and logical URLS that don't have to correspond to a file on disk, negating the need for clever URL rewriting. Jeff Palermo, the expert interviewee on the subject, cited an example URL an online retailer might use to make its widget products indexable by search engines:


And I thought, why not do this for Webpublisher? Not put the MVC pattern into practice necessarily, but use URLs like that to produce Webpublisher query results. With clever URL rewriting. (I.e. handle the URL behind the scenes server-side, not merely *redirect*.)

For example, /catalog/title/the_golden_compass could search for "Title = 'The Golden Compass' in the Catalog database." The path would contain the logic required to construct the query. More examples:




One would then need to produce some kind of site map that gave Google the links to follow.

I bet this would work. I'll try it in the next few weeks and report back.



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