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Websites within the EU are meant to inform users about the use of cookies on their website. Whilst the law raises plenty of implementation questions already, the general consensus is that we must at least display text to the user in some form (usually in a bar at the top or bottom of the page).

cookie text from the UK Information Commissioner's Office

My concern is that this causes the same text to be displayed across every page of the site. This question from a year and a half ago suggested including the text in an image or iFrame, but I'd like to think that somebody has come up with a better solution for cookie notifications as they've become such a big part of the web since then. Maybe there's even a HTML5-specific tag that would accommodate this.

How can we display this text across every page of the site without search engines picking this up and thinking it's important content.

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Why are you concerned about the text being repeated? –  Brendon Sep 13 '13 at 16:09

2 Answers 2

As discussed by Matt Cutts here, legally required content that's duplicated in a site shouldn't be cause for concern. Like copyright notices, privacy statements, or terms & conditions found on most sites, this wouldn't impact SEO.

However, you still might not want such a notice to show up in search engine snippets (in the case of thin content, missing description, etc...) or cache - particularly for visitors outside of the E.U.

There are some potential ways to block search engines from indexing part of a page, as covered in this question (e.g., using JavaScript, AJAX, and iFrames). Since many search engine bots like Google's primarily crawl from the U.S. however, you could selectively hide the cookies notice for requests coming from their user-agents by redirecting to a page without it, or dynamically including it through SSI, PHP include, etc...

There are also open-source solutions such as this one which attempt to only display the notice to visitors coming from the E.U. - see this. And you might use the GeoIP Country database to accomplish something similar.

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It absolutely makes no difference if you have one or two sentences repeated across a site. So stop worrying about it.

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