Indexing a geographically targeted site

I have a database based site that searches for information in a geographic area, although the area can be fairly large. It is a US based site only. My question pertains to having the site indexed by a search engine. When a new user comes to the site I try to get a location from their IP address and start from there. If it is a search engine coming to the site, I would like to expose them to all the information on the site, not just that for a particular area.

Is there a way to do that? Could I have a link the has a style display: none that would effectively route to all the information and index it that way?

Does that make any sense or am I misunderstanding this whole process?

You could do a variety of things to display all or more content to a search engine spider, but first you’ll need to detect the spider. Here’s a PHP function (I’m assuming you’re using PHP) that would help with that:

if ( ! function_exists('check_if_spider'))
     function check_if_spider()
     {          // Add as many spiders you want in this array          $spiders = array(               'Googlebot', 'Yammybot', 'Openbot', 'Yahoo', 'Slurp', 'msnbot',               'ia_archiver', 'Lycos', 'Scooter', 'AltaVista', 'Teoma', 'Gigabot',               'Googlebot-Mobile'          );
          // Loop through each spider and check if it appears in          // the User Agent          foreach ($spiders as $spider)          {               if (eregi($spider, $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']))               {                    return TRUE;               }
          }          return FALSE;     }}

Sorry, the copy paste of this code didn’t go so well. Head over to that site and you’ll see it in a more elegant format.

Now, since you posted this in the SEO forum, I’m assuming that you’re also concerned about how this is perceived by a search engine. If it was me, I wouldn’t show everything to a search engine spider on a single page. I would probably expose a navigation system full of geographical links. This way, the search engine could separately index Los Angeles, CA from Chicago, IL. Hopefully, both pages would be indexed and a user would see geographically specific pages in the SERP.

Very helpful, thanks. And I really like the idea of presenting the geographical links on a page and directing from there. Excellent. I can easily reference a page from the home page directing a user to his/her city, state, area, etc. and present from there. Solves my problems and answers my question. And will present an option for those not so inclined to navigate by the map!!

And you must be sitting there thinking how can this idiot not have thought of that? Funny, I can get pretty myopic when coding, that’s for sure! :slight_smile:

Thanks again.

I can’t speak for anyone else here, but if you read through my past postings you’d find plenty of obvious questions that I somehow didn’t think about when I posted. Coding is like that, sometimes you just need a fresh perspective.