We run several quite large forums - a <car brand> owners club.
The forum software we use identifies 'bots by their URL, and also allows us to treat them as members of a specific group and use a specific skin.
As the boards are very busy, we have several bots almost constantly online.
This is a good thing, and I'm not complaining! :D
To reduce the load on the server, and help the bots in only following links that they should, I am considering creating a specific search engine skin.
This skin would NOT interfere with the actual content of the boards - each and every post would be presented in the true manner, with the same text etc.
But - I would remove the pretty graphics and those links that are redundant to the bot - such as "search" and "new reply", "new poll" - all the member contact stuff like "pm", "ICQ" etc etc.
Aim is to reduce the load on the server, and make the bots job a bit faster and easier.
The question is - do you think this would be classified as a "bad thing" and maybe get us in trouble?
As I said - we would not alter or restrict the true content of the board (hell - we don't WANT to - its the loads of on topic, fresh all the time boards that keep us getting indexed and listed! :) )
thanks in advance folks ;)