Google Sidewiki Hacks
Ian Lurie Sep 23 2009
Already found two useful hacks in Google Sidewiki, although I still wonder why it’s around.
Make links work
If you create a link in a Sidewiki entry, Google adds on some annoying extra stuff, so that:
That’s an invalid link, and it’ll give you a 404 error every time.
The fix is easy: When you insert the link into Sidewiki, add any query string you want to the end of your URL. So the URL above becomes:
Now, when Google adds their stuff, you get:
A valid link. Woo-hoo!
Turn off Google Sidewiki for your site
This is a little trickier, and could have SEO implications, so use it carefully. It’s also uber geeky, so skip it if code makes your head hurt. But, if the reputation management implications of Sidewiki catch up with you, it’ll be worth investigating:
Google Sidewiki is URL-driven. So, if folks do Sidewiki entries for ‘www.portent.com’, then Sidewiki will only appear for that URL.
It won’t appear for, say, ‘www.portent.com#leavemealone’.
So, you could write a script that does a 301 redirect to a bookmark, and randomly generate a different bookmark each time. The result:
Folks navigate to ‘www.portent.com’.
Sidewiki will no longer appear, because there are no entries for that URL.
That’s a lot of 301s, though. You could try a 302, or even go as far as doing some sneaky cloaking (sorry, IP delivery), and get away with it.
I’ll update this page as more stuff comes up.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More