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Despite many posts on this issue, I am skeptical that there is a problem with search engines indexing pages with query strings. I have a number of pages with URLs like showdetail.cfm?articleID=25 and they are always indexed by Google and other search engines.
Having said that, you can use a format like this: showdetail.cfm/25
The CGI variable PATH_INFO should return the string that follows the page name.
Despite many posts on this issue, I am skeptical that there is a problem
with search engines indexing pages with query strings. I have a number
of pages with URLs like showdetail.cfm?articleID=25 and they are always
indexed by Google and other search engines.
It is my understanding it largely depends on how you link to the detail
pages. If you have direct anchors to the detail pages Google will index
them. If you use a form or something else, Google is much less likely
<a href="showdetail.cfm?articleID=25">The best red ball ever</a>
<!--- This will be followed by Google to be indexed--->
<form action="showdetail.cfm" method="get">
<option value="25">The best red ball ever<option>
<option value="26">The best green ball ever<option>
<option value="27">The best blue ball ever<option>
<!--- This will not be followed by Google to index the detail pages. --->
This makes some sense, because how can a robot complete a form even if
it could determine it is for navigation.
Ian is right - the key to indexing is the presence of a link that a robot can follow. And of course the same ranking algorithms will apply, so the more relevant pages that link specifcally to your page, the better your rank.
Thanks on the responses. So here's a followup....so if I have a file that has links to all my products, that file itself will get indexed into the search engine as well, correct? Which would mean that in a search result, it's possible that my file containing all my products will come back as a result and someone could go directly to that page. So I'm not 100% sure I have a problem with that but I'm a little uneasy about someone being able to grab that page and get links to all my stuff.
Is it possible to detect when a spider is view a page vs visitor so I could redirect the interactive visitor to my main page instead of that listing?
Is it possible to detect when a spider is view a page vs visitor so I
could redirect the interactive visitor to my main page instead of that
Not 100% reliably. Also it could be considered against the search
engines user agreements, thus you risk being black listed by them.
I would just make that page as useful to a human user as possible. This
will probably help with the search engines as well. They like to see
relevant copy associated with the links.
I see your point. I don't want to do anything to turn a way the spider or get blacklisted. But am I thinking about this correctly? Somewhere they must have static links on a page that points to product X. So either they have all them listed on the pages somewhere in their site or they have bulk files not really related to the site and aren't linked to the sites pages which just contain the static links to all the products.
Well, now that I'm thinking about it, the pages would have to be "linked" to the site in some way for the spider to find them...correct?
Well, thanks for any thoughts..I'm still trying to get a handle on the best way to handle this.