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How does Google handle dynamic FAQs?

A lot of FAQs today are "dynamic" where you only see the questions until you click a question and then page opens up to display the answer. There's an example here: http://www.centralvalleypet.com/faq.html.

It seems like Google might think that the site is just listing a bunch of questions, like people used to do with Meta words, to draw traffic. Google might not realize, just looking at the FAQ page, that the site actually gives the visiter full, informative and interesting answers to each of those questions, and in an intuitive way that doesn't clutter the page with answers they don't care about.

Does anyone know if Google will understand and appreciate this form of FAQ?

Thanks for any information or thoughts.

Steve
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steva
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steva
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activematxCommented:
I understand your question.  You are worried that Google will interpet the page as only questions because the answers are hidden to the user until they click the question.

Well, don't worry, Google will index the whole page.

If you look at the websites source code:

Source
you will see that it is using [divs] to hide the answers from being displayed.  Google is aware of this, and will still index all of the text within the page.  So you are still gaining the keywords and content from the answers within the webpage.

The divs aren't entirely hidden, but only accessible when the user clicks the link.  Google will still index these divs.

Google will even index divs which are completely hidden, although this can be frowned upon by them.  As long as the content matches the hidden divs, you should be okay.  (This is not the case in your example) but I thought i should mention googles  stance on hidden divs.
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stevaAuthor Commented:
Thanks activematx. What you said makes perfect sense.

But now let's consider a site that has the answers in a database.  Is there any chance of Google being able to click the questions to see the full rich information available in this case?  They don't need to index the answers but they need to believe in the quality of the site enough to index the questions for me.

Thanks
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activematxCommented:
Great question Steva.

If your site uses a database to store the answers in such as a MySQL database then Google will only find the answers if you have associated php pages written to fetch the answers.

Having a sitemap.xml file that you can have on your website really helps google locate each one of your pages.  Google will index each page and what the page parses on it.  

Google cannot access your database directly, but it can access the associated pages that the content will be passed to.  Having proper link structure and a sitemap really helps the google robot located each page.
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stevaAuthor Commented:
Google cannot access your database directly, but it can access the associated pages that the content will be passed to.

I'm missing how Google will be able to appreciate the richness of the database information if all they access is the page that receives the data. Something has to ask a question before its answer appears and it seems that one way or another Google is going to have to see the answers.  

It's beginning to look like I'm going to have to write out all the questions and answers somewhere on a page on my site, just to give Google something to look at and index.  

I guess these would be "hidden" pages.  You mentioned earlier that Google frowned on hidden pages.  By hidden, do you mean that they have display:none?  Can't be reached by a site link?  Aren't in a site map?  ?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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activematxCommented:
If you go the database route, you will still have a page generated by your php script to parse the data to an actual page.  Each FAQ question/answer will have it's own page identifier.  This should be included in your sitemap.

Alternatively,

It's beginning to look like I'm going to have to write out all the questions and answers somewhere on a page on my site, just to give Google something to look at and index.

This would work, since the content would be directly embedded on the page.  You could do something similar to the link posted about where they had their content in a [answer] div that only displayed when the user clicked the link.  These divs are not the type of "hidden" divs that I was referencing earlier.

Here is a little more information on how Google Indexes Hidden Divs:  http://stackoverflow.com/questions/514659/does-google-index-pages-with-hidden-divs
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stevaAuthor Commented:
Many thanks!  I gave you the points.

Steve
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