[RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

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Louis7777
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[RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Post by Louis7777 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:41 pm

Basically, this mod: Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Allows administrators to synchronize bot styles (the style used for the board by the bot) and bot languages (the language presented to the bot as it browses) with the board's default en masse.

The current actions that can be applied to marked bots are: Activate, Deactivate, Delete. This mod adds a couple more: Synchronize style, Synchronize language.

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Pony99CA
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Re: [RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Post by Pony99CA » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:15 am

Meh. I have to wonder how useful that is.

Regarding styles, if anything, I'd want a lightweight style for bots, which probably wouldn't be the board default. (Of course, I could set it as the board default, synchronize and then set the default style back.) In fact, what if bots didn't get any style, just the raw HTML with no CSS? I wonder if that would hurt at all. (It might affect those bots that create page previews, of course.)

As for language, again I'm not sure how much that would help. Most of the content that bots will index is the posts, which is the language that the post was written in. The board language just controls the user interface text, but how many people search for that?

So I think that this should be an extension. However, present a good use case for putting it in the core and I'm willing to reconsider.

Steve
Silicon Valley Pocket PC (http://www.svpocketpc.com)
Creator of manage_bots and spoof_user (ask me)
Need hosting for a small forum with full cPanel & MySQL access? Contact me or PM me.

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Louis7777
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Re: [RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Post by Louis7777 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:19 pm

For styles, I think you've said it all. And it might come in handy to be able to change it for all bots in your example.

As for the language, you might want to focus on a specific language for better localised SEO.

An example. I'm from Greece. I set up my forum and it is ready to use. People come, they register and login, and they all post in greek. The bots understand that the content is in greek, assume that the forum is greek and make it compete with other greek websites for a higher place in localised SERPS.

And most likely it is what I wanted. To rank well in my country. And if the forum is related to some business in Greece, then it is certainly what I wanted.

However, the interface (menus, navigation etc.) that the bots will see, will still be in english. So I'll have to change it for each bot. It's not only because of what people search for, but because I want to rank well in google.gr.

It doesn't make sense for humans to have english menus when the content is entirely in greek and it doesn't make sense for bots either when they are performing a semantic analysis. From the navigation they may pick up what services the site is offering, what it sells etc. If I want to rank well for transactional queries, shouldn't the bot be able to figure out that my nav bar has "παπούτσια" instead of "shoes"?

In any case, the phpBB software - for whatever reason - offers the ability to change bot style and language. The feature is already there. Shouldn't it be easy to use and efficient? This reason should be enough.

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Mess
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Re: [RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Post by Mess » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:57 pm

Why are you using English menus if you want Greek users? Not that it matters much because your hits will come from the content, not from the menus...
So having a language option for bots makes little sense in the core.

I regards to styles they don't actually see the images or render the html/CSS, they only read the code. I'm assuming you don't mean preview bots, because it would make sense for them not seeing the default style.

I can't see how the little gain (if any) could justify the effort it would take to create and maintain the code.

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Louis7777
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Re: [RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Post by Louis7777 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:17 pm

Mess wrote:Why are you using English menus if you want Greek users?
Because the english language is there by default. The bots see it by default. The users see the menus in greek.
Mess wrote:Not that it matters much because your hits will come from the content, not from the menus...
The bots take into consideration what I have in the menus in order to decide what kind of site I have. For example, if they understand that I'm selling shoes, there's higher chance that they will serve my website for transactional queries about shoes.
Mess wrote:So having a language option for bots makes little sense in the core.
It is already there. It is just not efficient, because you have to change it for each of the bots.
Mess wrote:I regards to styles they don't actually see the images or render the html/CSS, they only read the code. I'm assuming you don't mean preview bots, because it would make sense for them not seeing the default style.
Well, the html/css - thus the code - changes for every style.
Mess wrote:I can't see how the little gain (if any) could justify the effort it would take to create and maintain the code.
Like I said, the options are already there. So why not make them easier to use and efficient? I doubt that anyone bothers to change the style and language for each bot. It usually makes sense to change it for all of them.

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Re: [RFC] Manage Styles and Language for Bots

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:40 am

Maybe changing the default language should automatically change the bots, too. Bots probably aren't used by a lot of people, so they might not even know to use the proposed feature even if it existed. But if changing the default language automatically changes the bots' language, they wouldn't have to worry about it.

I don't know why somebody would want all of the bots to see a non-default language anyway. If you support a lot of languages, you might tailor bots from one country to see their language (for example, showing Russian to Yandex or Chinese to Baidu), but I wonder how many people would bother.

Anyway, I'm not opposed to the feature; I just think that there are more important things to worry about. But if somebody wrote the code and did the Pull Request, I wouldn't object. ;)

In the meantime, you could probably take my manage_bots script and tweak it so set the style and language for all bots.

Steve
Silicon Valley Pocket PC (http://www.svpocketpc.com)
Creator of manage_bots and spoof_user (ask me)
Need hosting for a small forum with full cPanel & MySQL access? Contact me or PM me.

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