Early last week (June 28, 2013, to be exact), I posted “Indescribable“–about the oddity of running into a few public library websites where Bing and other search engines didn’t show brief descriptions of the sites.
I’m seeing more of those (as I continue the sweep of public library websites–smaller and smaller libraries as the project continues–toward A Library Is…: A Collection of Public Library Mottoes and Slogans).
The answer sounds like something out of The Price is Right, and yes, I know I’ve said that before.
To wit, Plinkit. Quoting from the site:
A service that state libraries and consortia provide to local libraries
A template-based web site creation toolkit made using open-source software
A multi-state collaborative supporting Plinkit services
Provided as a web-hosting service
Lots of libraries, especially smaller ones, use Plinkit websites. They’re clearly reasonably customizable and, more important, they provide reasonable-quality websites for libraries that might have trouble building and maintaining their own scratch-built sites.
And I’m guessing–with no proof, but one key piece of evidence–that someone at Plinkit thought it was a good idea to include as a default a robots.txt file that disallows the kind of crawling that produces site summaries in search engines.
I’m guessing this for two reasons:
- Now that I’ve been paying attention, all of the sites with this oddity I’ve seen lately have been Plinkit sites.
- Search for Plinkit itself on Bing or Blekko and, guess what…you get the “indescribable” message. (Not, oddly enough, on Google.)
I choose not to comment further on the (in)advisability of doing this, mostly because I don’t know enough to provide thoroughly knowledgeable comments.
Oh, and if you’re interested in A Library Is…: The best way to reserve a copy, and possibly the only way to get one (other than as a future perk for substantial contributions to Cites & Insights) is to contribute toward my IndieGoGo crowdsourcing effort to underwrite $4 to $1: Public Library Benefits and Budgets (2013-14). As little as a $12 contribution can get you a free copy of the PDF ebook when it’s ready.