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I recently found a great write-up about SEO and anchored links . In particular, I found the following to be very helpful:

For longer or more complex pages, search engines frequently create direct links to the anchored locations. These are positioned very similarly to sitelinks in function.

Now, here's what I'm trying to figure out... Is it possible for search engines to create direct links to content in an accordion* so that when the link in the results is clicked, it opens the page with the accordion open to the specific reference? Likewise, is it possible for search engines to create direct links to content in a modal window* so that when the link in the results is clicked, it presents the page with the modal window open with the specific reference?

*Assuming it has been created in a way that is SEO-friendly.

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I think the "can" question is more technical than UX - UX is more about the "should" :) –  Peter Nov 17 '13 at 7:09
    
The answer to the "Can" question is "Anything is possible". @Peter is right: the UX question is "Should we make use of it?" –  Andrew Leach Nov 17 '13 at 9:24
    
    
Yes, all of this is possible. Accordions and modal panels are just parts of the HTML page, they can have whatever state we (Web authors) want, and they can include anchors. [By modal window you certainly mean modal panel.] –  Nicolas Barbulesco Dec 18 '13 at 17:00
    
@Peter is right in his comment here. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Dec 18 '13 at 17:01

1 Answer 1

Is it certainly possible for search engines to link to a URL that has a fragment identifier ("anchored link"), but it is up to the destination page to know what to do with it. If the page is plain HTML with nothing dynamic or no hidden blocks, then the browser will scroll to the content identified by the fragment.

...But if the content is loaded dynamically or ordinarily hidden, then it's up to the page to handle this. If the page is smart, it should detect that the fragment identifier exists and show the appropriate modal or accordion content. But since this must be programmed in this isn't necessarily the case.

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