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How to Hide a Page Intended For Subscribers from Google

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A member wants her subscribers to have access to a page that she doesn’t want others to find through Google. She wonders if using no-follow and no-index is sufficient to prevent non subscribers from finding the page. We discuss different methods of hiding the page from Google.

Video Transcript

Rick: We’re going to start off this morning with questions post by Jackie and let’s see… the first question that she asked is should she use no index or no follow for subscribers only studio tour series of pages? Actually Jackie, I’m going to turn your microphone on here. Can you hear me?

Jackie: I hear you, Rick. And it’s good to be with you.

Rick: It’s good to be with you too.

Jackie: Good.

Rick: So tell me…explain your question.

Jackie: Okay, what I’m doing is through AWeber, sending a series of tours to my studio and I’m doing it to people who have subscribed and asked to do those tours and they’ll be 10 of them. And so I do them on a mailer that then links to a page in the website and that page, I have put on no index… you know, those 3 things you suggest checking and I want to know if I’m doing that right. That way, they’re not available to anybody to search, is my theory and only available if people sign up and subscribe. Is that the correct way to do it and not be seen or indexed or whatever you want to call it?

Rick: Yes, generally speaking, that is correct. They’re not actually hidden. It just means that you’ve requested that the search engines don’t search them and the search engines generally will do what you ask them to do and so Google and MSN and Yahoo and those guys will respect a no index tag.

Jackie: Now is that…

Rick: You probably need to do a no index…

Jackie: Is that… in your opinion, is that the correct way to do something like this where you’ve asked people to sign up for something that will be exclusively for their eyes?

Rick: Yes. The only other alternative to that is to have some kind of a membership section whereby signing up they you know, get some kind of a login privileges and then you’d hide it behind a login page. That would actually hide it and so you could do that as well. But that’s probably more than you really need to do. You know, unless there’s some… you know, really important information there that you don’t want anybody to access…

Jackie: No, there isn’t.

Rick: Except for special people.

Jackie: Yeah, no… this is just because people have asked me if they could tour my studio and then in ½ hour, they’re not going to get what I can do in these 10 emails or 10 different tours. And so they’re video tours and if somebody wants to see them you know, that’s fine. I’ve even told people they could share it with friends which mean that the friend would get the availability to the link. It’s just that I didn’t know if I needed to go through all this SEO stuff with Google when I’m really not looking to be looked at by Google.

Rick: No, you don’t need to do any SEO stuff then so you need to do a meta tag or just meta description or anything like that. You can skip all that.

Jackie: Okay, that was my real question. Am I doing it right? I don’t always understand the difference between that and the word “private”.

Rick: Well, private is a page that is…well, private actually, is a page that can only be seen by administrators so it’s never actually published. The password kind is the kind that can be seen by anybody with a password. So you could have a password-protected as well and then when they go to it…

Jackie: Like when we see your things if we subscribed…we’re subscribers, we get access to everything with you.

Rick: Yes and actually, that is because of a membership plugin so that’s not private pages and it’s not password-protected pages. It is a system of access to the site that has a membership component to it. And so, actually, all the pages that you can go to that other people can’t, those pages are still all published and Google can get to them but it can’t get to the content on them because the content is only delivered to logged in users.

Jackie: Okay. Well, I think that I’m…

Rick: It’s completely different.

Jackie: Yeah. I think I’m doing an okay thing. It’s an easy way to go about you know, showing people something that they’ve asked to see and yet keeping it kind of exclusively for those who have asked.

Rick: That’s correct. Yeah, absolutely.

Jackie: Good.

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