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SEO for dynamic page content

Tailoring content for users

     
9:29 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We are building a website that will have tailored content on the home page, so depending on where you came from, cookies, etc. we will show you content that is specific to you.

My question is how will this affect SEO? Ideally, we would like to be indexed for all different versions of the home page, but I'm not sure how we would get search engines to 'see' all versions of the page.

I guess the alternative is having one default version of the content that is shown to robots only, and that helps optimise our ranking for the general purpose of the website?
9:39 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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you have to be very careful how you implement user agent cloaking.
if you serve different content for googlebot vs chrome, for example, you will be penalized.
crawlers will not typically support cookies or login to the site, so that should be a safe way to go.
9:47 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well users who have come direct to the site for the first time will see the same default page that the bot sees so would that be OK?

We will be showing the content based on the referral of the user (i.e. what they searched for) or their cookies. Would we be penalised for that?
9:58 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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as long as a new visitor with cookies off and no search referral sees the same thing as the bot, it should be no problem.
10:10 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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OK, thanks.