I've been reading both here and also on Google's own webmaster pages, and I find myself uncertain about how Google handles session IDs.
I understand that if a page requires a session ID to be viewed, then Google will not index it. But, how does Google do this? Does it try using the session ID to view the page, or does it omit the session ID and try to view the page?
How would Google handle the following type of URLs:
In the above example, the ID represents what content to serve and not a session ID.
In the above example, the ID represents a session ID and the content represents what content to serve. If the ID is omitted, the same content will be served.
And, if a session ID does not have "id" anywhere in its parameter, how does Google determine whether or not it is a session ID?
I am actually asking this on behalf of a number of webmasters. We all use the same web server ecommerce package. It utilizes path arguments and a session ID to display pages dynamically. The session IDs are used to keep track of shopping basket contents and, unless the webmaster has changed the default action, the same content will be displayed even without the session ID. Without the session ID path argument, the only thing lost would be shopping basket contents, which, of course, a robot or spider wouldn't need.
The session ID might also be used with static pages, so the only path argument in those cases would be the session ID. We're just wondering how the session ID affects the indexing of our dynamic and static sites--all of which would use a session ID path argument.