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Do not want to show specific info on pages to Google.
Shopping site does not want to show random products to search engine...

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 856 posted 11:20 pm on Mar 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hello Good People,

I run a shopping site that has product and category pages showing relevant product descriptions. I also have a lot of articles, customer service pages, FAQs and other pages that show a list of random products of our product range in the right hand column of these pages.
While this is by design for customers, I would like to stop random products from being displayed to Google (or any search engine in general), because I think it is of no value for a search entry.

For example: The customer service page shows its basically static info, only the random products change every time you call the page. While a visitor may find this helpful, I feel it is not good for a search engine entry, because the static content should be just that: static. Otherwise the customer service pages appear in relation with the products that were shown at the time the spider visited the site. E.g. If a blue widget was shown at the time the spider visited, people searching for 'blue widget' would get my customer service page (with in essence) has got nothing to do with the product.

The questions for you:
a) Should I care (I think I should, who wants 'faulty' or misleading search engine entries)
b) Add some code to identify Google (actually all I care about) and disable the "random product display" for all non product pages (easy to do, because product pages are product specific and do not show random products.
c) Have you got other thoughts on this issue.

My ideas was to add some code (I am using IIS and global.asa may be the right spot) that identifies Google, and sets a flag that is then used in the 'random display code' to simply disable it or Google, as such not contaminating these 'non-product' pages. Maybe you can point me to some code bits, please? ... as well as info on how to id Google by user agent or IP (or whatever works best)?

Any input would be much appreciated.

(I wasn't sure whether this query fits the cloaking section)

Thanks and regards,



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 856 posted 3:24 pm on Mar 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Personally, I want as much traffic as possible to my pages. I'd leave the random products there.

Actually, I have a better solution for you. Why not have script that analyzes the HTTP_REFERER header for the keywords used in the search and display relevent products? That would closely target the page to what the searcher was looking for, and you'd still have those "lagniappe" visitors.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 856 posted 10:29 pm on Mar 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks VolatileGX,

Interesting reasoning... it simply shows me there is heaps to learn for me. There is always the discussion of providing good results for search queries, and I thought I would do the right thing ethically... I actually tackled the problem yesterday and solved it: no random products for the spiders on these non-product pages :) but hey, nobody complained, I was never sure, you say go... I may well change it back and even adopt your referrer-query-relevance-display; what a word :)

Thank you kindly for your reply!


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