September 2018 Newsletter
Farewell and Thank you
Erik Arnold left the Search team at the end of August. He had supported the program for 16 years. He will be missed and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Please reach out to the team email address with any business you would have raised directly with Erik.
Welcome new team members
We have some new faces on the Search.gov team!
- Shawnique Muller is on detail with the Search.gov team, filling in for Search Analyst Arantxa Piperova who is on extended leave and will return in January. Shawnique will focus on supporting customers and updating the Search.gov help manual.
- Mickin Sahni is our new Product Manager. He joined the team in September and will focus on bridging customer needs and development planning.
Technical Glitch - Analytics
Mind the Gap
We experienced an issue with one of our servers between September 8 and September 18. During that time we were not able to pull search data from our logs, and so you may have noticed that your Today’s Snapshot email reports were lacking information on your queries. We have resolved the issue, and most of the data is available again, though you may observe a few gaps in your site’s data. Apologies for any inconvenience.
SEO Pro Tip
Avoid Crawler Traps: Use Canonical Links to Tell Search Engines Which URLs are Real
<head> <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.gov/topic1" /> </head>
Crawler traps occur when your site can generate an infinite number of URLs. This can happen when any given URL can have parameters appended to it, like tags, referring pages, Google Tag Manager tokens, etc. Each one of those URL strings will look to a crawler like a different URL, so the crawler will visit this “new” URL, open it, note the links on the page which then themselves, once followed, will have these additional parameters on them, and the crawler won’t be able to determine what constitutes the entirety of a site.
By using a canonical link, shown above, you tell the crawler that no matter what parameters may be present in the URL when the page was opened, this is the real URL for this page. In the example above, even if a crawler opened the page when the URL was looking like
https://www.example.gov/topic1 will be captured by the search engine.
Want to learn about the latest features, fixes, and focuses of the Search team? We post monthly Release Notes on our website.