I am currently working on a website for a beer company. On this website my client will be selling his products but due to the local regulation we have to ask the user if he is above 18 years of age prior of giving him access to that section of the website. This is done from the main page.
I am wondering how to have the product's pages indexed by Google but if by any chance this page appears in the search results to make sure the visitor is above 18. I was thinking about hiding the contents of thoses pages but if I do that Google crawler might not be able to grab the text describing the products.
Do you see what I mean ?
The more of the website you can have "open" (ie, before the age confirmation), the better your chances of success - both with search engines and with customers. Don't ask users to confirm they are over 18 until you absolutely have to - first, you run the risk of excluding search spiders from those pages, which could reduce your visibility in the search results - second, you need to get people hooked into the site first. If the first thing they see when they arrive is a "proof of age" request, they're more likely to turn away, but if they get into the content and start reading it and then get asked for proof of age, they're more likely to follow it through, because they have already "invested" in the site.