Search Bot

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In-World Search in Second Life is an important tool for every merchant to understand and use. A crucial part of understanding how it works is knowing how your store or parcel ranks. When a potential customer types in a few words, In-World Search will provide a list of those parcels that seem most relevant then present up to 1000 of them, 20 to a page. But how do you find out where your store or parcel is listed in those results? You can scan page after page, looking for your listing. It works, but it's also very time consuming and prone to errors. Then what are you going to do for the rest of your search queries? And what about the next hour, or the next day? What you need is something to automate the whole process.

Search Bot from DG Products for Second Life is the answer to your search problems. A single-prim scripted device that works in tandem with our web-based tools, Search Bot automates all the tedious labor of searching and finding your listing. It submits the search queries you specify every hour. It then scans the resulting pages looking for your listing without fail. Search Bot even records the results of every search in a private database. A simple click on the Search Bot will display a URL for the Search Bot's web interface. The web interface displays details about the Parcel where Search Bot is located, the Current Rank for each search query and a Rank History graph that includes up to 28 days of search results.

Search Bot Basics

Search Bot is a two-part system; one part works inside Second Life, the other part is a web-based interface that displays Search history and ranking in an easy to understand format. All you do is rez the Search Bot on your Parcel, drop in a Config Notecard that defines the Search Queries to submit, the Maturity Level for those Searches, and an email address that Search Bot will use to notify you of changes in rank. As soon as Search Bot reads the Notecard, it will begin submitting the search queries entered, recording the results of those searches, and sending out emails when needed.

Do not mark the Search Bot to Show In Search. Search Bot performs all of its functions without needing to be listed in the Parcel's listing page.

Search Bot Features

Search Bot provides many different features that ease and simplify your use of In-World Search. The features have been designed to automate the most mundane tasks and help you track your parcel's rank.

  • Automatic Search - Search Bot will submit the Search Queries you enter automatically four times per day.
  • Full Maturity Rating - Search Bot can perform searches using General, Moderate and Adult Maturity.
  • Rank History - Each query and the resulting rank are saved in a private database.
  • Parcel Boost Rating - The current Parcel Boost assigned to the parcel is reported in every Email.
  • HTML Web Page Update - The time and date of the last HTML Web Page update is reported in every Email.
  • Rank Change Email - If the result rank changes then an Email is sent notifying you of the change.
  • Web-based Interface - The data and statistics collected by Search Bot are visible through the web site display interface.
  • Current Rank Chart - The current Rank for each Search Query is displayed in an easy to read chart.
  • Rank History Graph - Up to 28 days of Search Rank History is displayed in a simple Graph.

Configuring Search Bot

In order to configure Search Bot for your specific needs, you must edit a Notecard named Config then drop it into the Search Bot. The entries that must be entered are described below.

As of v2.3 of Search Bot, you may name the Config Notecard anything desired. However you must ensure that it is the only Notecard in Search Bot's Contents. If there is more than one Notecard contained in Search Bot, it will use the first one listed in alphabetical order for its configuration settings.

Search Queries

The Search Bot is capable of submitting many different search queries. Each query must be entered into the Config Notecard, one per line. Each entry begins with the text kwd= followed by the search query itself. Do not include quotes or any extra text as they will be included as part of the search query. For example, to submit search queries "Red Boots", "Leather Boots", "High Heel Shoes" you would create the following kwd= entries:

kwd=red boots
kwd=leather boots
kwd=high heel shoes

Maturity Setting

When you submit a query to In-World Search, you must also specify the "Maturity Rating" of the results to display. There are three possible levels, General, Moderate and Adult. These are abbreviated as G, M and A respectively.

Note that a single Search Bot may have one and only one Maturity Setting for ALL Search Queries it submits. However you may put more than one Search Bot on a parcel to perform searches using more than one Maturity Setting.

The Maturity Setting for the Search Bot is set by the mat= entry. To specify the desired setting, enter one or more of the abbreviation letters for the ratings desired. For example, to set a Maturity of General and Moderate for the Search Bot, you would enter the following:

mat=gm

You may enter the letters in any order desired, thus all of the following entries define a Maturity Setting of General, Moderate and Adult:

mat=amg
mat=mga
mat=gma

Email Address

Each time Search Bot submits your search queries, it compares the results with the previous rank. If the rank for any search query changes then Search Bot will send you an email that details all of the Search Queries and details which ones have changed and by how much. Configure your Email Address using the email= entry in the Config Notecard. For example:

email=dgothly@dgp4sl.com

Disable Hovertext

As Search Bot operates, it will display its current process and state in floating text above itself. There are times and situations where the display of Hovertext is not appropriate. By default, Hovertext is always displayed. However you can disable the display of Hovertext by adding a single entry to the Config Notecard as follows:

hovertext=off

The standard Config Notecard provided with Search Bot includes this entry, however it is disabled by a single semicolon at the start of the line. You can enable this entry simply by removing the semicolon.

Disable Color Changes

When Search Bot is performing its various functions, it will change its color to alert you to its status. Those colors are as follows:

  • Red - The Config Notecard has not been dropped into the Search Bot - Search Bot is not operating.
  • White - Search Bot is idle, waiting for the next time to submit its Search Queries.
  • Cyan - Search Bot is retrieving the current Parcel Boost and date/time of the most recent HTML Web Page update.
  • Green - Search Bot is submitting Search Queries and scanning for the Parcel's Rank in the results.
  • Blue - Search Bot is sending an Email message that details current rank for all search queries.

You can easily disable these color changes by adding a single entry to the Config Notecard as follows:

colorchange=off

The standard Config Notecard provided with Search Bot includes this entry, however it is disabled by a single semicolon at the start of the line. You can enable this entry simply by removing the semicolon.

Disable Reporting of Search Rank Changes

When Search Bot detects a change in the Rank of any of the configured Search Terms, it will normally send an Email message that lists the current Rank for all Search Terms. However, when your Parcel is properly optimized and has been stable for a reasonable period, the "bobble" that occurs naturally may result in a large number of Email messages that do not serve any useful purpose. Setting the "reportsearch" option to "Off" will disable sending Email messages for any changes detected in Ranking.

The default setting for the "reportsearch" option is "On", however you can easily disable reporting of Search Rank changes by adding a single entry to the Config Notecard as follows:

reportsearch=off

The standard Config Notecard provided with Search Bot includes this entry, however it is disabled by a single semicolon at the start of the line. You can enable this entry simply by removing the semicolon.

Disable Reporting of Changes in Parcel Boost Rating

When Search Bot detects a change in the Boost Rating of the Parcel it is on, it will normally send an Email message that lists the current Boost Rating and indicate that the value has changed by adding the following text after the value:

<== BOOST HAS CHANGED!

Once your Parcel has been properly optimized and the Rank for your configured Search Terms is relatively stable, it can be very important to be notified of any changes in the Boost Rating as there is a history of Linden Lab changing the rules used to calculate the Boost. If you have disabled reporting of changes in Search Rank, you should leave reporting of changes in Parcel Boost enabled to alert you to a change that may drastically affect your overall Rank. However you may disable reporting of changes in the Boost Rating by setting the "reportboost" option.

The default setting for the "reportboost" option is "On", however you can easily disable reporting of Boost Rating changes by adding a single entry to the Config Notecard as follows:

reportboost=off

The standard Config Notecard provided with Search Bot includes this entry, however it is disabled by a single semicolon at the start of the line. You can enable this entry simply by removing the semicolon.

Disable Reporting of HTML Web Page Updates

When Search Bot detects that the HTML Web Page for a Parcel has been updated, it will normally send an Email message that lists the new update time and date. However, when your Parcel is properly optimized and has been stable for a reasonable period, these reports that occur roughly every six hours may result in a large number of Email messages that do not serve any useful purpose. Setting the "reporthtml" option to "Off" will disable sending Email messages for any updates in the HTML Web Page.

The default setting for the "reporthtml" option is "On", however you can easily disable reporting of HTML Web Page updates by adding a single entry to the Config Notecard as follows:

reporthtml=off

The standard Config Notecard provided with Search Bot includes this entry, however it is disabled by a single semicolon at the start of the line. You can enable this entry simply by removing the semicolon.

Email Notifications

Each time Search bot submits your search queries, it compares the resulting rank for each with the previous check's rank. If any search query changes rank, Search Bot will send you an email that details every query, its current rank and any changes from the previous search results. Search Bot will also check the current Parcel Boost Rating and the time and date of the last HTML Web Page update and may send an Email to report changes in those two value as well.

Here is an example Email showing the Boost and HTML Update time and date, and the search queries with their current rank and how the rank for each query has changed:

Object-Name: SearchBot
Region: SeaBreeze Oasis (280576, 247040)
Local-Position: (144, 141, 4090)

Parcel Page: http://world.secondlife.com/place/baf1cd20-cd5b-cb46-3271-713fcd250872
Teleport to: http://slurl.com/secondlife/SeaBreeze%20Oasis/144/141/4090
Maturity: General, Moderate

Parcel Boost: 0
Page Updated: April 12, 2011 at 20:04:00 SLT

teleporter Page: 1, Slot:2; Rank=2 Was Page: 2, Slot:12; Rank=32 [+30]
teleporters Page: 1, Slot:3; Rank=3 Was Page: 1, Slot:19; Rank=19 [+16]
teleport Page: 1, Slot:4; Rank=4 Was Page: 2, Slot:16; Rank=36 [+32]
teleports Page: 1, Slot:1; Rank=1 Was Page: 1, Slot:8; Rank=8 [+7]

The Email consists of four sections. The top section provides the Object Name of the Search Bot, the Region where it is located and the Local Position coordinates. The second section provides a URL to the parcel web page where Search Bot is located, a SLurl that may be used to teleport directly to the Search Bot and the Maturity Settings configured for this particular Search Bot.

The third section details the current Boost Rating for the Parcel and the time and date of the last update to the Parcel's HTML Web Page. If the Parcel Boost has changed, the following text will follow the Boost value reported:

<== BOOST HAS CHANGED!

You can disable reporting of changes in the Parcel Boost Rating by using the "reportboost" option.

When the Parcel's HTML Web Page has been updated, the following text will be included after the time and date reported:

(Parcel Web Page Updated)

You can disable reporting of updates to the Parcel's HTML Web Page by using the "reporthtml" option.

The last section details each of the search queries configured into the Search Bot. Following each query is detail about the parcel's current rank for that query. It includes the Search Results page number, the entry on that page and an overall Rank. (Each page in Search Results contains 20 listings.) If the rank for a query has not changed then immediately following the current rank detail will be the words (no change). However if the rank has changed then the previous rank will be displayed along with a number in square brackets that represents the gain (+) or loss (-) in rank position since the previous search was performed.

You can disable reporting of any changes in the Search Rank for the configured Search Terms by using the "reportsearch" option.

Web-based Interface

Automating search and reporting the current rank for your parcel are only half of Search Bot's features. For many people, it's not enough to just know what the current rank is, it's also important to know how your rank has changed over time. It's also important to know such things as when your parcel's web page will be updated (to reflect your recent changes) and if your parcel has a non-zero Boost rating. Search Bot's web-based interface provides all this detail in an easy to read format.

As of version 2.7 you may select one of two options for the Search Rank History display. The first option, selected by choosing This from the menu, will list only the Search Rank History for the Parcel where Search Bot is located. The second option, selected with the ALL menu option, will include all parcels that contain Search Bots that you own.

Web Page Security

Search Bot's web-based interface is secured in such a way that your data is kept private, however you can also share the URL with others if desired. Note that each time you request access to the web interface, Search Bot generates a new unique Key value that lasts for no more than 30 minutes. The URL it displays must contain that key in order to gain access to Search Bot's data. If you share the URL with someone else, they will only be able to view the web page for at most 30 minutes, or until you generate a new key by touching the Search Bot again.

Requesting Web Access

The Web-based Interface for Search Bot may only be accessed via a specially constructed URL (web address). When Search Bot is idle (not performing searches), you may "Touch" Search Bot to request a new access URL. You may then choose to view the web interface for the current parcel only or for all parcels that contain Search Bot's you own. Click This on the menu to select the current parcel only, or click ALL to display details from every Search Bot.

After Search Bot generates a new security key, it displays the URL both in Local Chat and in a drop down dialog box. You may either click the link in Local Chat or click the Go to page button in the dialog box.

Parcel Detail Block

At the top of each Parcel section is a block of information about the Parcel itself. This is an example Parcel Detail Block:

Sample Parcel Detail Block

Parcel Name and Web Page Link

 1  - The Name set in About Land is displayed here. You may click this link to open the Parcel's web page in a new window or tab.

Description

The Description set in About Land is displayed here.

Boost Rating and Parcel Area

The Parcel's Boost Rating and total Area (in square meters) is displayed here. Note that if your Parcel does not have a Zero Boost Rating then the number will be highlighted with a red background as shown here:

Highlighted Non-Zero Boost Rating

Owner Name

 2  - The Group or Avatar that owns the parcel is listed here. Note that because of data retrieval problems with Second Life, this field may sometimes show either (Loading...) or (???) (???). You may click on this link to display the Owner's web page in a new tab or window.

Agent Name

 3  - The Avatar that owns this Search Bot. (That means you.) You may click this link to display your web page in a new tab or window.

Region

 4  - The Region (or Sim) where this Parcel is located. You may click this link to display the Region's web page in a new tab or window.

HTML Page Updated

Each Parcel web page displays a date and time of last update at the bottom of the page. This entry displays that time corrected to SLT (Second Life Time). Also included is an approximate time until the next update should occur. Note that if the update appears to be late, the display will change to indicate the update is past due as shown here:

HTML Update Past Due

Maturity Level

The Maturity Levels selected for this Search Bot are displayed here.

Show Rank Table

 5  - This link will alternately open or close the Current Rank Table described below.

Current Rank Table

The Current Rank Table lists every search query and the most recent rank results as shown here:

Current Rank Table

 5  - This link will alternately open or close the Current Rank Table.

Note also that each query is a link to its corresponding Rank History Graph. Click the search query to jump to the associated graph.

Rank History Graph

Each time Search Bot performs a search query, it saves the query and the resulting rank in its database. The results are saved for up to 28 days thus giving you a longer term trend view of your Parcel's rank for each search query entered. Here is an example of a Search Rank History Graph:

Keyword Links and Rank History Graph

Parts of the Search Rank History Graph

 6  - Just above the first graph is a set of links that take you directly to the graph for each search query listed.

 7  - At the top of each graph, the associated Search Query (Search Term) is displayed as a link. You may click this link to open Second Life In-World Search in your web browser. This is a very handy way to immediately locate your listing and determine your competitive standing.

 8 ,  9 , and  A  - These three entries detail the dates and times of the first record displayed, the last record displayed and the total number of records in the graph.

 B  - This shows the current rank for the search query.

 C  and  D  - These two values show the best and worst rank displayed in the graph.

 E  - If your parcel does not appear in the first 400 results, Search Bot will record your rank as Parcel Not Found in Results. This value displays the number of times this has been the case.

 F  - If the search query you enter returns no results at all, Search Bot will record your rank as Not Found In Search. This does happen periodically when the GSA is overly busy, however Search Bot will retry the search query up to five times to retrieve a proper result.

Revision History

v2.8 - 10-Jul-2011

  • Reduction of Search Frequency from once per hour to once per HTML Update
This update has been necessitated because of new limits enacted by Linden Lab on the Search Web Service. In order to prevent unsatisfactory performance for all users, Linden Lab has reduced the maximum usage any one "Consumer" can use. The Search Bot tool, through the DGP4SL.com website, is one such Consumer. In fact we are the largest consumer of all. Therefore Linden Lab has requested that we modify our usage pattern to better serve all users.
This version of Search Bot implements the first step of that process by reducing the usage by a factor of 6; that is this version Search Bot uses 1/6th the bandwidth as does the previous version. Please note that very soon we may disable any version prior to v2.8 in order to meet their bandwidth requirements. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

v2.7 - 12-Apr-2011

  • Reporting of Parcel Boost and HTML Web Page Update included in Email message.
  • Added options to enable or disable reporting of changes in Search Rank (reportsearch), Boost (reportboost) and HTML Web Page (reporthtml).
  • Added automatic retry of failed or stalled Parcel Page and Search queries.
  • Added new color state to indicate retrieval of Parcel Boost and HTML Update.
  • Added "dead man" code to detect and abort stalled scripts.
  • Added "This" and "All" options menu when retrieving URL for Rank History Graph.

v2.3 - 21-Feb-2011

  • Config Notecard may now have any name but it must be the only Notecard in the Search Bot.

v2.2 - 19-Feb-2011

  • Added "This" vs. "ALL" when displaying Rank History Graph URL

v2.1 - (internal only)

v2.0 - 21-Dec-2010

  • Added URL to display Search Rank History Graph

v1.3 - 15-Sep-2010

  • Added Maturity Ratings selected in all Email reports
  • Added Rank Change Report - When a Search Term rank changes, an amount change will also display. For example: [+3] indicates the Search Term move up 3 slots, whereas [-1] indicates the term moved down 1.

v1.2 - 12-Sep-2010

  • Added HoverText disable setting in Config Notecard
  • Added Color Change disable setting in Config Notecard
  • Added "Teleport to:" link in Email for direct teleporting to the device. Aids in locating well hidden Search Bot devices.
  • Added "Was" detail in Email showing previous rank results.

v1.1 - 08-Sep-2010

  • Added "Touch for Report" function that runs and displays a full Search Ranking report for the Owner only. Next report reverts to email differences.
  • After configuration change or reset, first report is both emailed and displayed for Owner only.
  • Changed results display. Search Terms not found at all return "(Not Found In Search)"; Parcel not found returns "(Parcel Not Found in Results)"

v1.0 - 07-Sep-2010

  • Initial Release