Imported News and Search Results

Author: Erik Runyon

You may have noticed an issue where you search for a news article on the front-end of your site that you've imported from another Conductor site, but no matter what search terms you use, the article does not come back in the results. No, you're not going crazy, here's why…

Let's start with some back-story. The first thing to note is that Google does not like duplicate content. So when an article is posted on one site, and then imported (usually verbatim) on a number of other sites, it will often pick which one it wants to return as the most relevant of those articles. The problem is that, quite often, it is not the original story. To prevent this, all "imported" news articles in Conductor contain a special tag in the markup indicating where the story originated. This clearly tells Google which story is considered the "canonical" version, which it will then return in search results.

However, this has one adverse side effect. When Google crawls the imported article and sees the link to the canonical version, it treats the imported article as a redirect, and therefore (usually*) does not index it. This means that when you search on the site that's imported the story, you won't see it in the results.

While this is not ideal, we feel it's important to give credit where credit is due. We'll continue to monitor how Google treats such imports, and if possible in the future, we'll implement a way to show the imported article in search results.

* Sometimes (and we don't know why), Google will on occasion index an imported article. It's all based on their algorithms, and there's no way for us to know why, as they're not prone to disclosing the intricacies of how they determine search results.