|The stupid question is the question not asked|
Re^7: Major update to perldoc.perl.org (sitesearch=)by tye (Sage)
|on Jul 22, 2009 at 18:39 UTC||Need Help??|
Thank you, that is a good suggestion. I am slightly concerned because "sitesearch" is the name of a "paid" service from google so I'm unsure of the ramifications of PM making use of that parameter. Given the google search form that perldoc.perl.org presents (as part of the "search results", at least in cases where there isn't an "obvious best match"), it might be that somebody has paid google for sitesearch against perldoc.perl.org (but I don't want to jump to that conclusion).
But in either case, there are still portential risks associated with PM using that feature.
If the feature has been paid for, there is a chance (though I consider it only a small chance) that PM could generate enough traffic against the feature that the price for the feature is pushed up due to volume, which wouldn't be fair to whoever is paying for it, unless they first give permission to PM (if this were to actually be a problem, I would expect that much of the volume of traffic would come from search engine spiders, since they are apt to follow any perldoc:// links over and over -- perhaps using sitesearch via GET links is a "no no" in itself for just this reason, since the use of sitesearch at perldoc.perl.org is via a FORM, something that a search engine spider won't navigate through).
I also worry that the use of this feature is a "grey area" that may eventually rise to the point that google takes issue with it. Testing shows that sitesearch=perlmonks.org "works" but I'm pretty sure nobody is paying google for the "sitesearch" feature with perlmonks.org.
Before I applied the changes to perldoc:// to use google, I searched for and scanned google "terms of service", hoping for hints about whether such use was strictly allowed, had certain restrictions, etc. I didn't find anything very informative, just a lack of any mention by google about such practices and some information about google offering a paid service called "sitesearch".
It seems that "sitesearch", the paid feature, allows you to have the search results displayed "on your site" with your layout and without google's ads (but the documentation I found on sitesearch wasn't very explicit about this and certainly didn't say anything about "compared to X, which you can just use for free"). So there may be little in common between the paid feature and the sitesearch= parameter other than how they are spelled.
So, my best guess is that having PM use sitesearch= in a ton of links probably isn't going to be a problem. But I would appreciate some confirmation of that impression (or even confirmation that it likely would be a problem) before moving forward with such a change.