and indeed that’s exactly how Google handles even local tags (aka ‘Labels’) on blogs hosted on their own service Blogger.com — they don’t index them!
albeit Google has direct vested interests to do just an opposite thing, because they’ve quite recently added to Blogger an inline AdSense integration, which now allows blogspot.com bloggers place ads inline with their blogs’ actual content.
this would benefit not only blogspot.com users to improve monetization of their blogs, but it’d also definitely benefit Google itself by increasing clickthroughs on their own AdSense.
but they don’t do it, just take look at the Blogger.com’s robots.txt:
User-agent: * Disallow: /search
by closing this forums thread, mentioned above, Matt, incidentally, ‘politely’ asked me to “save the paranoid conspiracy theories for my blog”. so, here we go.
[first of all a sidenote: lip service and obscurity are both an excellent soil for rising theories exactly of such kind.]
I’m talking with the other folks at Automattic to find out more of the history with category slugs being turned off.
apparently history of this mysterious forbiddance is so dark, that none from the staff still could not give just a single reasonable answer to any the questions posed in this thread more than once. as usually.
now, my dear readers, do you have any ideas (besides “paranoid conspiracy theories”, of course) why wordpress.com users are not allowed to change their (their, really?) category slugs?
and, finally, just a little fun promised by the title. are you feeling lucky today? then let’s go ahead:
the only problem now is, how any wordpress.com user would know ‘its a bug and something that we will fix’, if that “Topic Closed. This topic has been closed to new replies.”, huh?
the matter is, due to infinite wisdom of the bbPress** developers, ‘Topic Closed’ actually means it’s also well hidden out of the public view, so that nobody could see it anymore. bbPress has also a couple of another wonderful features.
since over just a single day, after ticket has been submitted into WPMU trac (see my comment below), Donncha has fixed this issue: now renaming the category also changes its slug (URI).
along with the ticket I suggested a patch, which exposes ‘Slug name:’ input field for editing (and thus fixes that bug). unfortunately, this patch hasn’t been accepted.
apparently, WPMU (wordpress.com) developers consider users of the so called ‘multy-user’ version of their software as second-class citizens, relatively to the standalone, single-blog one.
MU users still are not (and, surely, never will be) allowed to change their category slug regardless of its name (to have a short, nice category URIs for example), nor they aren’t allowed to have readable multy-word blognames — hyphens are also banned due to totally unreasonable dev’s arbitrariness (for it could be nothing more).
*) Barry closed the thread just over 4 minutes since Wank’s post, while the thread has been started 8 days ago, was intermittently bumped, and obviously had been seen during a whole week by the staff members.
**) another PHP script used for wordpress support forums