Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

redirecting from subdomains with Javascript: cloaking or not

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redirecting from subdomains with Javascript: cloaking or not Yura 5/31/13 2:31 AM

I'm working on developing a service that serves visitors in most cities in my country. The visitors are redirected to a subdomain, corresponding to their city (

Suppose, I want to let visitors use the service from the root domain of my site, being, for a smoother experience, but still use subdomains for geo-location (it's a Russian site and Yandex has a thing for regional subdomains, because it can only allocate 25 cities to a domain) and indexing.

- the content to be indexed would be at
- the spiders would still see and will be redirected through a server-side 301 redirect from (but this won't affect humans, since their page address is dependent on the History API)
- the organic search visitors would arrive at, get redirected with Javascript to and enjoy the service
- there would be rel="canonical" at, pointing at (and, possibly, meta noindex for all pages).

The only thing different in pages that robots and visitors end up on is page URL, not page content (aside from rel="canonical" at the main domain).

1. Is Javascript-redirecting visitors from search to the main domain (from to cloaking or not? How bad is it? 
2. Would only using rel=canonical (and, maybe, noindex) without the 301 server-side redirect from to be sufficient to prevent duplicate content issues?


P.S. And yeah, I've read quite a bunch of articles and viewed a number of videos on the subject. Unfortunately, neither Yandex, nor Google promise to adhere to cross-domain rel="canonical" 100%.
Re: redirecting from subdomains with Javascript: cloaking or not JohnMu 6/6/13 4:43 AM
Hi Yura
Giving mixed signals like this is not going to deliver consistent results over time. I'd strongly recommend finding one site structure and using it consistently.