Cranky cookies

Cookies are one of those irritating facts of life on the Internet. Users want web sites tailored to them, and cookies are one way companies have found to do that. When users enter the site and customize some feature of it, a small piece of code — the cookie — is placed on the user’s hard drive.

Then, when the user returns to the site in the future, that cookie can be accessed, and the user’s preferences executed.

When cookies work properly, they’re an excellent tool for web designers. When they don’t work as they should, the problems begin. So what constitutes a problem? The main issue with cookies is that some browsers allow users to set how cookies will be delivered to them. And some source code prompts the user to be asked before a cookie is accepted.

When this happens, the search engine crawler is effectively stopped in its tracks, and it doesn’t pick back up where it stopped once the cookies are delivered. Also, any navigation that requires cookies will cause the crawler to be unable to index the pages.

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How do you overcome this issue? The only answer is to code cookies to ensure that the source code is not designed to query the user before the cookie is delivered.

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