Redirect or Full screen modal?

I have a website which has 2 section for 2 different types of customer.

When a customer first arrives on the website they need to choose which section they want to see.
Once I’ve detected if they are a first time visitor, I can either …

  1. Show a full page modal where they choose the section they want to visit by clicking the relevant link
  2. Redirect them to a page where they click the relevant link.

My concern is whether one of these is easier for Google to crawl or if one affects SEO. Can anyone advise please?

Well often I find that the separate page is going to be better for SEO if that is what you are aiming to do. This is because Google will treat the second page as a whole other search result. Often when you build a modal, anything that is SEO related is going to be contributed to the page that the modal is on (because the modal is part of the page).

The separate page allows you to have two search results, each which can be custom tailored with their own keywords, summaries etc.

However, if you are looking for usability for the user and are just using this whole thing to allow them to make a simple decision, a modal might be easier for them to understand since they don’t need to load another page. You load the page (which will load the modal assets in the background too) and then simply show them the modal when required. They instantly see the modal, make their choice and off they go into some other website flow.

We should always strive for making it easy for the user to navigate and make choices. If your goal is to attract more attention from SEO efforts, the second page may actually serve you better.

^ This.

If your granny can navigate your site, Google can most certainly crawl it. smile The opposite does not necessarily hold true.

The idea is just to allow users to make a choice on which section of the website is appropriate for them (retail or wholesale). I don’t have any valid SEO on the page that has the selection buttons - it is just a background image with two buttons. My fear is that Google treats this as the index page and therefore allocates a low ranking to the website.

So, if I make it a modal, rather than a separate page, would Google still rank the index pages for each of the two sections of the website without detriment?

I think your problem is a misunderstanding of how Google works. Pages are indexed individually, and individual pages are compared to search queries for “best match”. It is possible to have a page which consistently appears near the top of the rankings and another which seldom if ever appears, on the same site. There is not some kind of overall ranking given to a site.

If you don’t want that page indexed, then use a “noindex” meta tag.

But if there is a redirect, wouldn’t Google always see the low SEO page as the main page of the website.

Sorry, I don’t understand the question. Where does the redirect come in?

As I said, if you have a page you don’t want Google to index, then use “noindex” to block that. Google will index each page it is not blocked from, and return them in search results according to how relevant each page is to the search query. The content of one page does not affect the performance of others.

When a customer goes to the home page index.php and they haven’t visited before on that day, they are redirected to another page choice.php. On choice.php there is a background image and two buttons - one takes them to the retail section of the website at index.php, the other to the wholesale section /wholesale/index.php
My concern is that search engines will be sent to choice.php where there is little content and consider this as the homepage.

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