I have a website, it is split into 3 categories but using PHP its an all-in one kind of style. When a user chooses a category on the home page a session is set, this is then used to set the style and contents of the website.

Would Googlebot and other bots be able to still scan my website? If a page is accessed and no session is set then the user is sent back to the home page.

I have created special links, that set a session but go straight to the contact page. Even this page doesn't seem to be showing up.

Any ideas if a sitemap with specially crafted links (to set the session) will help Google?

  • You should not design a website that saves all variables in sessions, I think. Look into MVC, apache's mod rewrite, and GET variables. That's how you create a well structured, dynamic, Google-able website, I think. Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


Googlebot would NOT be able to crawl such a website. Googlebot does not use cookies, so it would not maintain a session to be able to crawl.

If the sessionid were in the url, Googlebot would still have trouble because it would get different sessionids each time it crawled the home page and you would have massive duplicate content problems.

Furthermore, Google would NOT want to send search visitors deep into your site -- they would get redirected to the home page and not easily be able to find the content they had searched for.

To get your site indexed in Google you will need to be able to set the session from any page on the site without redirecting and be able to serve up content even when crawlers and users don't support cookies.

  • The website is using PHP sessions, I believe this does not affect users that dont support cookies. Would you suggest splitting the website into seperate pages instead of using a one-size fits all template using sessions. Thanks
    – DonShwep
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 12:30
  • 3
    To be indexed in search engines, you need a separate page for each piece of content that users can land on from a search engine. Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 15:03

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