On Monday, I posted an article about an issue with the email service MailChimp, which is used by many bloggers to email copies of their posts to subscribers.
In short, MailChimp’s “Forward to a Friend” service was saving copies of forwarded messages on a public Web server and letting those copies be indexed by the search engines. In cases were webmasters were emailing out site content, such as blog posts from their RSS feed, this could result in duplicate content issues.
Today, I received an email from Neil at MailChimp, who says the company has addressed the issue and has added robots.txt files to all servers that host content for the Forward to a Friend feature.
Those links include:
As you can see, all three prohibit any indexing by the search engines.
Though Google still shows thousands of URLs on those domains, once the sites are recrawled, they should be removed.
This should put the issue to rest and prevent both future duplications and also eliminate any existing ones in the search engines.
In the end, while I certainly didn’t enjoy having to post about the issue, I’m glad that the matter has been resolved and that MailChimp’s feature will not be harming webmasters’ search engine presence in the future.
On a personal note, to everyone who shared, spread and helped get the word out about the original post (including those of you on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus): Thank you for your help! It made all of the difference in the world bringing this to a quick resolution. It meant a great deal to see so many of you take such an interest in this issue.