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Is Social Locker punishable or risky?

     
9:04 am on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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THere is a Wordpress plugin called "Social Locker"

The function is to force visitors to like, tweet or Google + you content before they can access it.

I think it's great, because most visitors are selfish and give you no recognition for your hard work.

On the internet, every body wants it now and for free, and that makes them pay for the benefit they get ;)

This pluggin works great and likes, ect are pilling up.

But I wonder, might Google disagree with that?

Might they penalize you for having too many people like your content, it wouldn't surprise me...
9:27 am on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The function is to force visitors to like, tweet or Google + you content before they can access it.

Actually, this overlay has been causing me to back out of sites immediately, and I can't help thinking that I'm probably not the only one.

Returning to serps immediately was one of the early Panda signals of low quality, and I'm guessing that the technique will hurt the sites that use it.
9:39 am on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Actually I contacted the developers and they said it's fine.

However, my site tanked 20 positions a few weeks after using this.

I disabled it, and rankings are coming back up, however...I also deleted back links.

So the results are inconclusive, but maybe coincidental?

For accessing the content, what you need to do is give the visitor a teaser, obviously if the teaser is good, they will want to read the rest.

So pragmatically, I think it's fine, but for Google who knows...risky?
10:27 am on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Actually I contacted the developers and they said it's fine.

At a guess they mean you won't get an explicit penalty for having the feature. If it's use results in user actions for which you are penalized then the penalty is for those actions not for having Social Locker.

Like Robert I would hit the back button straight away if I came across that feature.
6:01 pm on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Like Robert I would hit the back button straight away if I came across that feature.


I would close the browser tab... I would want to quickly erase all memory of the event ocurring.

Seriously, Whatever happened to just improving your content if you want more likes and shares?
7:57 pm on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I came across this a few days ago. But I don't have a way to do a like or tweet or Google+. I'm not a member of any of those, and didn't see any means of bypassing it. So I was disqualified from that site, whatever it was.
8:34 pm on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The function is to force visitors to like, tweet or Google + you content before they can access it.

How would they know they like it before they access it?

Since when was having a social media account compulsory?

Why would forcing visitors to do anything be a clever strategy?

Sounds like the kiss of death for any website.

...
9:07 pm on Jan 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The function is to force visitors to like, tweet or Google + you content before they can access it.

Goodness. Have the developers thought of going into politics? Forcing people to express an opinion before allowing them to acquire information on which to base that opinion is obviously a great business model.
7:09 pm on Jan 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Since when was having a social media account compulsory?

Seems to be going that way
8:15 pm on Jan 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Seems to be going that way

I run a music listings site and frequently have to tell event organisers that their advertising is only available to members of a particular network, and not to the public in general.

They often don't believe me because they don't know how to log out successfully - so all they are actually advertising is the network itself, and apparently they don't need no education.

All in all it's just another brick in the walled garden.

...
3:36 am on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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May be you could trigger it after the visitors spend some time, give them a close button if they don't feel like sharing and that would be far better...or you can use it on certain pages alone and it would be the equivalent of paid content...

but then do your test runs with users and don't depend on answers here for these questions as most answers here would not be representative of the generic internet users...people here are mostly webmasters or with internet marketing skills and their answers might not be truly representative of the real world...

There are also several things which google forces upon its users like say search suggestions etc. Try to implement their strategies with your own innovation...but ultimately be user friendly or project yourself as one..
4:11 am on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If it isn't good for anyone but the site owner, then it isn't a good idea.
7:22 am on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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"force visitors to like, tweet or Google + you content before they can access it"

Did you buy that account? I find it unusual that someone would be involved in internet activities for 11 years and not know what kind of path they are walking down with that plugin.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this thread.
9:03 am on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Further thought: Much depends on the site's target audience. If they're the kind of user who will unhesitatingly click a Like or Tweet button "Yeah, what the heck, just show me the site" then you're good to go. At least until a few years down the line, when search engines decide that raw numbers of Likes are worth about as much as raw numbers of links. If they're the kind of user who can't get out of there fast enough, then not so good.
1:20 pm on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The function is to force visitors to like, tweet or Google + you content before they can access it.

Thinking about your visitors first why would you want these folks to indicate that they like a webpage before reading it?

This plugin is doing what search engines don't want you to do - designing a page not for the visitor.

[edited by: Edge at 2:20 pm (utc) on Jan 22, 2015]

3:54 pm on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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To answer the question...

the reason it is risky is because google will see (through android or chrome browser user data) that a lot of people come to your site only to leave immediately because they don't want to "like" your site.

Google will then think your site sucks, and will rank it accordingly.
4:32 pm on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Oimachi2, I'd suspect that whilst Google might not penalise it per se (Ie paywall pages do still rank), the user experience data might make Google downgrade the page. Just speculating.

Personally I'd be very hesitant. As other people have rightly pointed out, judging something before you've seen it just isn't cricket.

Something cleverer would be some site script that let you travel 5 pages then requested some support. Not by blocking but something else.
5:09 pm on Jan 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I run a music listings site and frequently have to tell event organisers that their advertising is only available to members of a particular network, and not to the public in general.

Same here, bands and small time promoters are really bad about this.
3:54 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Forcing people to express an opinion before allowing them to acquire information on which to base that opinion is obviously a great business model.


Am I entitled to a refund if the product is shoddy? If not, then am I held to being an idiot for my "favorable endorsement" . . cough . . cough . . gag.

Hmmm . . perhaps a call to the FTC might be in order as they do, at least in the case of affiliate marketing, have taken a stand against favorable reviews or endorsements without disclosure of consideration given for the and/or endorsements that suggest but aren't based upon actual use of (whatever) . . cough . . cough . . gag . . wither . . die . .

All hail the emerging idiocracy!