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Can hiding the source code harm rankings?
travelin cat

 6:44 pm on Jul 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

We just inherited a website where the previous developer had added some code to the entire site that blocked the ability to view the source code. My question is, can this be detrimental to rankings? The website has many problems, this is just one of them.



 7:38 am on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Source code can always be viewed. Save the page locally then open it with a text editor.

If instead of "can't be viewed" you mean it "has been encoded" then the decoding might not work in all browsers and adds a significant processing overhead that slows the site down.

If search engines cannot read the HTML code, they cannot understand the content and will fail to rank the site. If the pages are encoded, they'll just index it as random junk or may yet suspect a "trick" and penalise it.


 8:53 am on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

are you refering to the webpage html or server side code? i.e php/asp/.net

travelin cat

 1:16 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is a script on the webpage itself. It disables the save/save as command and the view source command, it has not been encoded. I discovered this after ftp'ing into the site and retrieving the page.

We are of course going to remove this script, but I was just curious to how the search engines might treat it.


 1:32 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fetch as Googlebot from WMT.

travelin cat

 1:37 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

FranticFish, thanks, never thought about that. Googlebot is showing success.


 4:52 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's always worked for me. I think it's because the browser HAS to receive the code to render the page, and only once the page is rendered can those scripts work to disable certain functions within the browser.

As g1smd said, it's completely daft anyway because it offers no real protection!


 5:42 pm on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

typically this is done by using javascript to mess with the contextual menu.
if you temporarily turn off javascript you can view source.

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