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When logged into the Admin of Expression Engine, and then visiting the front of the site, sometimes the URL contains an S followed by lots of characters, like this:

www.mydomain.com/S=12a33f9e958c5a998383ba60cd1539210d1fb668/my-page

I recently found out Google has indexed a page on my site containing this URL and I wondered if anyone knows why, as this is obviously quite bad.

I noticed User Session Type was set to Session, so I changed that to Cookies, but I am just concerned about how Google indexed it with the session ID.

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As you've stated the S stands for session, so EE can identify the user throughout the site visit using a query string. Google can't natively index these links, unless the Googlebot learns to create an account!

I don't know if your site is a member type site, but my guess is either a member of your site has published a link somewhere, or more likely, your client has followed the steps you describe to work out the path to an entry and used the path in a hard coded link - which may still be there. And Google has then index it.

Trouble is you can't use a third party tool to check your links, because it is a valid link, so you'll need to run searches in your database to check the content and templates for the "/S=" element of the URL.

You can use Google Webmaster Tools to de-index the offending URL.

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  • I didn't think about someone linking to it, I will have to check. Could have been me! In fact, I can see several pages indexed with this google.co.uk/… – Laurence Cope Jan 26 '14 at 16:54

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