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Need to temporarily conceal content

How to hide content for a short period prior to takeover



10:26 pm on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a major problem with a site that we have sold

We no longer have regulatory rights to show the content but have a 4 week hiatus before the new site owners take control and slap their own regulatory stamp on the site. Messy but thats how it has played out.

Technically I cant show the content as it is right now without the regulatory authority. To do so risks a fine

But the last thing I want to do is take the content down for 4 weeks and leave blank pages up there which will screw 3 years of hard work.

When researching on the web I have come across all kinds of dodgy methods which all seem to promote cloaking or hidden text.

I have seen one method of using css ..hideme code but even that looks way too dodgy for my liking

So what is the recommended method here? Is there a way to temp send the bots away or will Google still crawl and adjust the serp value or PR on the site?

4 weeks is a long time in this game and I really am struggling as to the safest way of cracking this issue.

Any advice gratefully received



12:57 am on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you sold the site, then you are no longer responsible for the content.

Don't cloak or hide your content. You are only asking for trouble from search engines, or you are going to lose some users.

Can't you just remove your stamp? Seems to me that the new owner is the one who should be making this post and worried about it, not you... ;-)


3:42 am on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I suppose you could write an .htaccess directive, or set of them, that disallows everything but the search engine spiders.

I concur, though, part of selling a thing is letting go.


8:47 am on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yeah I hear you

But its a transitional sale, weve just got the timing slightly out and our regulatory authority has expired. best laid plans an all..


12:44 pm on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Can you put a temporary disclaimer on the site noting the transition? Perhaps contact the authority that oversees your niche and ask for their advice on the situation? They may say it is fine and save you some grief.


12:51 pm on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That cant happen Im afraid because you are either authorised or not and if not then you cant offer services of the type we sell - not without incurring the risk of a penalty

There is no halfway house

Im leaning towards just deleting the on page text and leaving a few riders but will then restore/republish once the new owner activates their authority

Sounds ridiculous but thats the UK finance industry for you. Er ...I mean widget industry


1:17 pm on Nov 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

have you told the new owners your problem regarding them loosing rankings ect.. if you take the site down? ask them what they think about it like if you cant show any content then the next logical thing to to would be to take it down, as for google well you cant have everything..


4:05 am on Nov 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

sounds like the ideal situation to use the 302 Found [w3.org] HTTP Response:
The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI.

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