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Private Forums - Block Google at Forum Level or Message Level
Frank_Rizzo




msg:4136505
 12:28 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am creating a private forum for subscribers only. This would only allow certain registered users to read and post.

In order to create curiosity with non registered users I think that displaying the topic titles would be useful. This would also allow google to index topics but not the posts.

Is this a good thing to do, or should I just totally block google from knowing the private forum exists.

Registered User
Forum -> Subscriber Section
Topic: It's Sunny Today
Message: Yeh, it's 25'

Option A
Google Can Read Topic Titles only
Forum -> Subscriber Section
Topic: It's Sunny Today
Message: "Sorry, you need to subscribe in order to read this post"

Option B
Google Can Read Forum Titles only
Forum -> Subscriber Section

The only drawback I can think of with Option A is that google will attempt to read topic pages but each page will just have the same message: "Sorry, you need to subscribe in order to read this post" This could cause duplicate descriptions.

Seeing as Webmasterworld does not show topic titles for the Supporters Forum I assume that Option B is safer?

 

FourDegreez




msg:4136692
 5:04 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Option A would create a lot of empty shell pages, which Google doesn't like. I think if you were to go this route, you'd have to expose a paragraph or two of teaser content. But your users might not like that if the forum is meant to be private.

What I did was allow the user the option of making a post public. Posts are private by default.

tedster




msg:4136705
 5:22 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Have you considered Google's "First Click Free" program?

[google.com...]

Frank_Rizzo




msg:4137019
 11:14 am on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I went with Option B it looks the safest option.

First Click Free sounds interesting for something else.

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