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  1. #1
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    Region Select Page stopping site from being indexed?

    I've recently rebuilt a site and it caters to a few different countries.

    So, what happens is that when you hit any page on the site (PHP), it checks if you have selected your region (set in SESSION variable)

    IF not, it sends you straight to index.php which is a welcome page with a region selector drop down.

    In other words, in order to access any pages on the site, you must select your region first.

    Would this prevent spiders such as google etc from indexing the site? (it seems to be but there could be other issues)

  2. #2
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfl View Post
    Would this prevent spiders such as google etc from indexing the site? (it seems to be but there could be other issues)
    Depends on how this is done. If it is a form then the search engines can't submit it and you're effectively blocking your entire site from them.

  3. #3
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    Yep that's the answer. Thanks

    Now to update that page!

  4. #4
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Would this be a justifiable case of presenting something else to the bots than is being presented to the user?

    He could set up the site to detect the user agent and show the bots a page with links to the rest of the site, maybe?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    Aside from the risk of being perceived as cloaked contents, it wouldn't solve the problem. There are tons of search engine bots, and making a whitelist for all of them would be almost impossible.

    I've never understood pages which requires you to enter your location, especially since many of the solutions for doing so are terrible in terms of accessibility. Just open the site of the region of your main audience or, if you're feeling spiffy, identify the visitors location by their IP. Either way you do it, always have a link to an English version.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
    <p<strong<abbr/HTML/ 4 teh win</>
    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  6. #6
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ankerstjerne View Post
    Aside from the risk of being perceived as cloaked contents, it wouldn't solve the problem. There are tons of search engine bots, and making a whitelist for all of them would be almost impossible.
    Couldn't you detect just the browsers and allow anything else to go to the links page? But now I'm asking just out of curiosity because your suggestion about detecting their IP and serving up their countries page automatically makes snse.

    I've seen a Matt Cutts video where he talks about that being ok to do.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    There are even more different browsers than there are search engine bots - and such a method wouldn't take into account future browser.

    IP geolocation has its fault, but it's reasonably accurate, and as long as the user can chose a different version, there are no significant problems in terms of usability. The only problem comes when visitors with different languages that the language of the country of the search engine they are using to search, search for the page. In other words, Yahoo! and Google will likely only index the English version.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
    <p<strong<abbr/HTML/ 4 teh win</>
    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    A simple accessible menu (i.e. made with CSS) would solve all of their problems. And it is easy to do, too.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    ... or a simple list of text links for each country page

  10. #10
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    A simple accessible menu (i.e. made with CSS) would solve all of their problems. And it is easy to do, too.
    Agreed.

    I stay well away from java navigation because it's invariably used to make roll over nav buttons where a list of links appears then vanishes again once you move the mouse. I think that most people won't remember what the links were and will have to go back to it again, especially if there are several buttons, which is piss poor usability.

    Also, se's have problems with java so that's that.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Agreed.

    I stay well away from java navigation because it's invariably used to make roll over nav buttons where a list of links appears then vanishes again once you move the mouse. I think that most people won't remember what the links were and will have to go back to it again, especially if there are several buttons, which is piss poor usability.
    ???

    Drop down menus can be a good design feature if you have large categories/subactegories of links. The fact that you have to mouse over them to see the drop down list is good as far as usability goes because those links don't clutter up your screen, yet appear when you want to see them.

    EDIT: I'd agree with you about being wary of using javascript but dropdown menus can be created using CSS.
    EDIT EDIT: Here's a nice example of dropdown menus implemented with CSS

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    ???

    Drop down menus can be a good design feature if you have large categories/subactegories of links. The fact that you have to mouse over them to see the drop down list is good as far as usability goes because those links don't clutter up your screen, yet appear when you want to see them.

    EDIT: I'd agree with you about being wary of using javascript but dropdown menus can be created using CSS.
    EDIT EDIT: Here's a nice example of dropdown menus implemented with CSS
    What can I say, I don't like them because they don't make it easier for the user even if they make it easier for the site designer.

    If you've got so many links you have to have 6 drop down nav buttons with several links on each, you need to redesign your site architecture.

    Simplest is bestest.

  13. #13
    O Rly?? JakeJeck's Avatar
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    You could also put a link to your HTML sitemap on your dropdown selector page and that would allow the bots in.

  14. #14
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I'd also recommend using an XML sitemap as this situation is exactly what they are designed for.


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