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Richard Lawrence, Head of Key SEO Clients

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Richard Lawrence

Head of Key SEO Clients

It seems it may have passed a number of people by, so I thought it was worth re-visiting the announcement and discussing what it means in practice for the technical implementation of a website.  

The announcement essentially says that when Google encounters a form on a page, it will attempt to fetch the pages it generates by firing in random words it finds on the page into the form’s fields.

For some forms, this will probably mean it doesn’t get very far - as the words it fires in won’t pass the validation test (i.e. it won’t pass basic tests which ensure you are entering an email address into the part of the form that is requesting an email address).

However some forms, such as site search boxes, are likely to allow the user (and therefore Googlebot) to input anything and get to the pages behind. This means it can visit a page, choose a random word and fire it into the search box in order to generate the results for that word.

Google can then index a huge number of pages that it was never intended to – leaving you at the possible mercy of algorithms (such as Panda) that look at the overall quality of the content within the site.

Therefore, webmasters need to assess whether they should block Google from these pages and how - there are a number of ways, each with benefits and potential downsides.

Get in touch to find out more.