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I originally posted this on Stackoverflow, but I believe here is a better place to ask.

My web application is very similar to notepad.cc which redirects to a randomly generated URL upon access, e.g. http://myapp.com/roTr94h4Gd. (Please note that notepad.cc is not my site.)

Probably because of this redirect feature, when I do "fetch as Google" or "fetch as Bingbot", I get a 302 and no html content. Not even a <html></html> tag.

HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily
Server: nginx/1.4.1
Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 04:37:37 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.4.17-1~dotdeb.1
Set-Cookie: PHPSESSID=vp99q5e5t5810e3bnnnvi6sfo2; expires=Thu, 03-Oct-2013 04:37:37 GMT; path=/
Expires: Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT
Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0
Pragma: no-cache
Location: /roTr94h4Gd

How should I avoid 302 in this case? I suppose I could modify my site to prevent the redirect, but it is a necessary feature of my web app to generate a random URL on each access.

I added <meta name="fragment" content="!"> tag into my index page and set it to return a static snapshot of my page when the flag is set. But this still returns a 302.

I also added a header to return 200 before redirecting, but this had no effect, either.

Could someone tell me a good suggestion to solve this problem?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would recommend creating a home page that describes what your site is and how to use it. Users would have to click a button like "new document" to create a text editor. This is how a similar site that I use works: http://collabedit.com/

The SEO advantages are:

  • Search engine bots don't get 302 redirects
  • There is content on your home page that lets you specify and rank for your keywords

The user advantages are:

  • Users get an overview of what your site does
  • It makes clear to users that the document was created

But with the disadvantage:

  • Users have to use an extra click to start a document
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