How Does Google Handle The HTML <base> Tag?

Jun 11, 2008 • 8:36 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

There is an interesting Google Groups thread discussing how Google handles the <base> HTML tag. The base tag specifies a base URL for all the links in a page. But how does Googlebot or Google handle indexing this tag?

Google Groups member, Webado said you should be "careful using the base tag". Why?

Google's cache adds a base tag set to your own domain root url. If your page is using a different base tag this will result in broken images, missing scripts and css files - all of those end up even mroe broken than it's usual in the cache.

Member, RainboRick said that the major search engines typically "ignore the HTML mark-up in that regard (keyword density)- even MSN."

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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Comments:

andymurd

06/12/2008 05:18 pm

So if the major browsers handle the &lt;base&gt; tag correctly (and I haven't checked) that could be a really simple way of serving different content to GoogleBot than human surfers but you could hardly call it cloaking. You could serve mydomain.com/index.css to GoogleBot but &lt;base&gt;/index.css to browsers and hide half your text. I know GoogleBot is supposed to check for such things.

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