How to Hide a Page from Google

I’m selling online seminars through my website. When a customer pays for the seminar, they get a link to a page (that’s not included on our site map) that contains the seminar.

My question is how do I keep Google and other search engines from seeing this page? I know how to use the Freeway Action to keep the page from showing up in the site map, but I’m not sure that’ll prevent Google from finding the page in other ways.

Is there something else I should do? Or is the “Hide Page” action enough?

Thanks,
Jamie


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Are you using a ROBOTS.TXT file to handle how “robots” index your page? If so, you could add in there:

UserAgent: Google
Disallow: / (whatever pages w/directories you don't want to be indexed) 

Remember to list one-by-one.

So it could be like:

UserAgent: Google
Disallow: /seminar/index.html
Disallow: /seminar/presentation.html

That should work, unless someone knows a better way.


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This is a good first step although it is insecure. The robots.txt file
is just a plain text file and can be ready by anyone. Try http://www.nikon.com/robots.txt
and you’ll see all of the pages that Nikon don’t want crawled.
A more secure method would be to use your hosting provider’s control
panel (or htaccess) to secure the directory these pages live in.
Without the username and password no one is going to get access to the
pages - search engines or end users.
Regards,
Tim.

On 2 May 2009, at 13:00, Dan J wrote:

That should work, unless someone knows a better way.

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Sometime around 2/5/09 (at 14:00 -0700) Tim Plumb said:

Without the username and password no one is going to get access to
the pages - search engines or end users.

The final point is this: if you want to make pages available for
someone it is very hard indeed to prevent them being available for
all. You could just put them into a folder (directory) and not have
any ‘findable’ links into that spot, but all it takes for it to be
dicovered is for someone to mention it in an online forum. Or perhaps
even put it in an email that goes through Gmail…

k


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Thanks, guys. This answers my questions on this one. I appreciate it!

See you,
Jamie


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The simplest way to make this work (from the customer’s perspective)
is to give each paying customer a login and password. To be extra
friendly, set a cookie on your customer’s browser when they complete
their purchase, and look for that cookie before showing the login page.

I would do this with a database, so you could line up a set of columns:

id
login
password
seminar
cookie
added_at

That way each combination of login and password would allow you to see
a single seminar. You could extend this further so that there would be
a single-sign-on for all seminars bought by the same person, in which
case you would have three tables:

PEOPLE
id
login
password
cookie

SEMINARS
id
path_to_file
added_at
(for extra credit, you would add)
price
description
show_on
hide_on

PEOPLE_SEMINARS
people_id
seminars_id

In this model, you would create a new People record if the customer
didn’t have one, or re-use the existing one if they’re a repeat
customer. Then you would add a record in the “join table”
people_seminars which would be the numerical id of that person and the
seminar they just purchased. (The extra credit part up there turns
this into a mini-CMS for your seminars, you could extend it further if
you like by adding additional columns to the database and playing them
back in your page.)

In either case, you would use .htaccess to redirect any request to
files in the seminars folder to your customer lookup script, and then
if the person had a cookie, and was associated with that seminar, they
could see it. If not, they would see a login page, and redirect to the
page after successfully filling that in.

It’s a bit of a programming exercise, but not that hard in principle
to do.

Walter

On May 2, 2009, at 1:30 PM, Jamie Turner wrote:

I’m selling online seminars through my website. When a customer pays
for the seminar, they get a link to a page (that’s not included on
our site map) that contains the seminar.


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Update your subscriptions at:
http://freewaytalk.net/person/options