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As long as the WebHelp is on the public internet it is subject to search indexing. I gather you do not want the site to be searchable.
I haven't done this in a long time, but did find this link which may get you started on blocking search engines.
Adobe Certified RoboHelp and Captivate Instructor
Actually, we DO want them to be searchable, but thought we had to extract all the content and create PDFs or separate HTML pages so it would be indexed.
So maybe what I need to recommend to the client is that the pages need to appear on their Site Map so the SEs can find them all?
Hopefully John won't mind my offering some tidbits here that may help illustrate the issue.
Perhaps a small experiment will help here.
Open Google and search for the phrase: Build tags on the brew and note the top link you see. It should read February 2004.
Click that link and note what you see.
Now click the following link: Click here to view
What you should be seeing is a page inside a WebHelp system. Nothing special whatsoever was done to make this happen. In other words, the Search Engines were able to index this page simply because it is available to the web. No SiteMap was created. Nothing special was done.
Some folks are working under the assumption that because WebHelp and FlashHelp are presented using extensive Framesets, that content cannot be found. This may have been true years ago, but advances in the indexing methods overcame that issue long ago.
Now Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a whole different animal and there are entire companies and many consultants that profess to assist with SEO and increasing your rankings.
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I'm a newbie when it comes to SEO, so excuse me if this is a very basic question... My webhelp is accessible via the internet (via http and https), but when I do a google search for a specific term that I know exists in the help, my help isn't returned in any of the results. Any ideas why?
SEO is a science in and of itself. There are many factors and a great many folks that specialize in tuning SEO to get the biggest bang.
However, it strikes me that you are expecting the Google search engine to perhaps return you some specific terms in your help. The thing is, while the terms may seem to be somewhat specific in your help system, they also may appear in the myriad other HTML pages Google and other search systems index. So your pages are likely listed somewhere among the mix, but you are competing with the thousands of other pages out there. So you may need to click the 10th or 20th "o" in the Google string to finally see YOUR page.
Another thing to consider is how long the pages have been available to the web. If it's fairly new, they probably won't be found as quickly as it might if they have been around for eons.
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