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I built a website that is divided into many categories. Each page displays the main category, and within that there is a check-box filter (like Amazon and eBay have when searching for items).

I want this filter to be indexed by crawlers so that my sub-categories will also appear in the search engines results. How should I build this filter?

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Search engine robots like the Googlebot cannot select check-boxes, make selections from lists, or anything similar... They just crawl links and index the content they find.

Since there is a selection involved here, I'm guessing that there's also either a server-side script and/or AJAX being used to filter the selections. You would need to supply URL's already containing the selection criteria in links within a sitemap.xml or as links somewhere in your site's content.

An example would be:

http://www.abccompany.com/products?gloves=white&gender=female

For more information on the structure of dynamic URL's and Google's suggestions, see: URL Structure

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would it be a good idea to make the checkbox linkable (like amazon and ebay does in their filter)? because if I put the links in site.xml I take the risk that crawlers will ignore them, or if put them in different places in site, will it be important enough in crawlers aspect? Apparently, the best place for sub category is in it's main category page. –  dtpozner Jun 10 '13 at 20:13
    
Not exactly sure what you mean by "linkable". Robots will crawl anything you put in sitemap.xml, as long as they lead to something they can view. The same is true if you list the links on your site somewhere - those are called "internal" links, and are just as effective if the robots can access the page they are on. It's best to think of someone navigating your site only by links (without selections) and then present that to the robots. –  dan Jun 10 '13 at 20:40
    
What I meant by "linkable" is that checkbox is a link that filter the data exactly like a normal checkbox. You can see the same behavior in amazon and ebay. I just don't know it if is recommended. –  dtpozner Jun 10 '13 at 21:06
    
If I understand you correctly...yes, you should make the check-boxes into links that will filter the data just like the check-boxes would do. That way you can provide them to search engines to crawl, if they're not overly complex with too many parameters (see the link in answer about that). –  dan Jun 10 '13 at 21:26
    
Hope my answer helped. If so, maybe you can accept it :-) –  dan Jun 11 '13 at 14:22

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