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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Question Cookies and search engines

    Hi,

    I've read through a number of threads on site point regarding this but none really addressed or answered the query I have. Hopefully someone here will be able to advise ...

    The site I'm currently building is 'regionalised'. This means that on first visit, the user selects their region and the site customises the content depending on that selection. The users region is stored in a cookie.

    I'm concerned with the impact this might have on search engine indexing.

    Since we're using php, if the user doesn't have cookies enabled a session id will be automatically included in the URL. This also has a negative affect on indexing so we can't just rely on this mechanism to take care of things.

    Any other ideas out there that I can research?

    Cheers,
    Af.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict
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    What I've done in the past, and this is legit with search engines as far as i know, is to put a script at the top of the page which checks if the visitor is a bot.
    If it isn't then include the session_start() command which assigns the session ID.

    If it is a search engine then the session won't be started and there will be no ids appended to your urls.

    Equally you can direct the search engine to just one regions content thus avoiding getting any duplicate content penalties.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks for the suggestion Ross.

    I'm thinking of using subdomains for each of the 'regions'. Then I can use your suggestion to test for spiders and present a page which will provide links to each of the subdomain sites.

    This is gonna be interesting! :-)

    Cheers,
    Af.


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