[ic] Removing session ID from the URL

Jonathan Clark jonc at webmaint.com
Thu Jan 13 18:39:34 EST 2005

> > > I'm experimenting with Google AdSense and Google sees
> > > /page.html?id=abcd as a page not in its index although /page.html is.
> > > This means it serves the default (non-targeted) ad to any page
> > > accessed with a session ID in the URL.  I realize the id must be in
> > > the URL to provide functionality for users not accepting session
> > > cookies, but I think that's a tiny fraction at this point.  Is there
> > > any way to disable the id?  Should I use Rewrite rules for this?
> >
> > With the correct Robot* directives in interchange.cfg Google bots
> > should never see session ids.
> That's actually the problem.  Google indexes pages without the session
> ID in the URL.  If you visit the same pages with an appended session
> ID, Google will consider them different pages.  That means the AdSense
> ads Google serves to the pages you visit won't be targeted to the
> content of those pages.

In my experience this is not true.

I think you are confusing indexing for search engine results with indexing
for adsense. These are two very separate things.

If you examine google's behaviour with an adsense site you will see that
there is a different user agent for adsense - Google is having a look at the
page you requested, which it then parses for adwords targeting. This is
completely different to your site being listed in google's search results.
If what you say was the case, it would not be possible to serve targeted ads
to a site not in Google's main index, which of course makes no sense and
certainly is not the case.

I did a quick experiment with an IC site serving adsense. It is set up in
the normal way, no out of the ordinary or special directives. Its based on
the standard demo of early IC 5.3. I looked at the ads served on the second
page access which contains the session ID and found them to be just as
targeted as on the first page. Just in case G had already seen the URL with
this particular session ID, I added some more characters to the session ID -
Google had _definately_ not seen that url. Ads still well targeted.

You can see this for yourself: http://www.free-polyphonic-ringtones-now.com/
and also if you add 'session_please' to the end of the url this will enable
session IDs - still the adsense works. (adsense is right at the bottom)

I think maybe in your case you have just not given G enough time to settle
down with your site. Content and theme information needs to propogate around
the datacenters before you will see consistent, targeted ads.

> It looks like IC usually appends a session ID to all links on the
> first page of the session.  If IC gets a session cookie back from the
> user after that, it keeps the session IDs out of the links.  Is there
> any way to keep IC from appending session IDs right away?  If it would
> wait until page #2 of the session, cookie-friendly sessions would
> never get the id-appended URL (as long as they're POSTing).  That
> would mean no lost AdSense opportunities.
> Also, I've been noticing that after awhile IC will start serving pages
> with session IDs appended to all URLs.  I'm seeing it in Firefox 1.0
> on Linux.  I wonder if it's a Firefox or IC issue.  Has anyone else
> noticed this?

As has been mentioned this happens if you visit the admin UI, and also if a
visitor logs into their account, or buys something.

One other thing, if you look at the adwords serving code, G is passed the
page and also its referring page each time it serves ads. In any case, this
is unimportant as Adwords works fine with IC out of the box.

best wishes,


Jonathan Clark
Managing Director,
Webmaint.com   - Building Clever Websites        http://www.webmaint.com
Webmaint.net   - Business Web Hosting            http://www.webmaint.net
Cartridge SAVE - Printer Consumables Online
WireTel        - Internet Connectivity Solutions http://www.wiretel.net

More information about the interchange-users mailing list