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?
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.