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We have added a subsite (/usa) to an established global website. This subfolder has been made region specific to USA using google webmaster tools. Now we want visitors from USA to be automatically redirected to this subfolder based on ip (standard 302 redirect). So far so good. Now, since the global homepage still remains /, we want the redirected user to still be able to visit this page if they click on the 'global home' (/) link. To be able to distinguish that this user should not again be redirected to /usa, the only option I can think of is using session.

So the question is, if this session based redirect is acceptable with the search engines. We are not going to be considering bots separately, so since the bots don't work well with cookies/sessions US based bots will never reach the global home. How will this affect us? We definitely don't want to lose any of the existing value of the parent site because of this change.

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1 Answer 1

Session probably isn't a good choice for this for the reasons you mentioned. Also consider that some users might have cookies disabled, so they would have the same problem as bots.

Instead I'd suggest just adding a query string variable to the global home link, something like /?region=global. If that variable is present in the URL you don't do the redirect.

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Presumably the querystring would only be added to the global home link from the /usa subsite? And the rel="canonical" link on the home page would be minus the querystring? –  w3d Aug 21 '13 at 16:26
    
I did wonder about a canonical, normally I'd say yes, but is it really a good idea to list the canonical URL as one that 302's to another? I'm thinking not. It all depends a bit on whether or not the OP wants the global home page indexed. –  Tim Fountain Aug 21 '13 at 17:54
    
Yes, good point about the canonical, ... the canonical URL is really the one with the querystring (at least in Google's eyes)!? Hmmm, it kinda feels a bit chicken and egg to be honest! I kinda feel that perhaps the auto-redirection is the problem? –  w3d Aug 21 '13 at 18:30
    
Yup, it's not an ideal setup, so there isn't really a 'nice' fix that covers all the bases. –  Tim Fountain Aug 21 '13 at 19:17
    
Yes,the global home is to be indexed. Yes, using something along the lines of "/?global" has been considered. But we will have to update the whole site with the new homepage link which is a bit of a challenge (legacy code etc). Otherwise if a USA person reaches some other page within the global site & hits home, he will reach the /usa page instead of the global home. It comes down to whether this is the only true solution. If it is, we have no choice. If there is anything else that might work well enough (that doesn't require an update to the whole site), you guys will have to guide me. Ideas? –  Thangaraj Aug 21 '13 at 19:56

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