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Can robots see content I don't want them to?

Posted on 2008-06-26
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Last Modified: 2008-06-28
I have a site built in PHP / MySQL.  On any given page, some content is displayed, while the rest remains hidden until the user logs in.  Right now, I have a meta tag with noindex set, but I don't think that's really what I want.  I don't want search engines and robots to be able to "find" the content that should only be displayed after logging in.  If I remove this meta tag, will the robots only see the free content?
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Question by:n00b0101
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glcummins earned 2000 total points
ID: 21874657
Robots are constrained by the same security model that prevents unauthorized users from viewing your paid content. If you have built your security model correctly, robots will not be able to access it.

Please note, however, that if your content is accessible without authorization, robots may do as they wish, regardless of the contents of your exclusions listed in your meta tags or robots.txt. Those tags are merely suggestions, not law. Improperly-written robots can ignore them entirely, if they wish.

The best possible conclusion is to simply ensure that your security is tight, and only your authorized users will be able to see your paid content.
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by:darkmooink
ID: 21874668
spiders can only see what you send to them so if you have a php if statement around some code and the if says no then the spider cant see it because you are not sending it to them
so in other words, go to the page, not logged in, right click it and view source and that is what the spider will see.
by spiders i mean robots
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by:jsteenkist
ID: 21874782
you can make use of robots.txt, but some will ingnore this.

robots.txt should be localed in the root of your website.

A "robots.txt" file is a text file placed on your server which contains a list of robots and "disallows" for those robots. Each disallow will prevent any address that starts with the disallowed string from being accessed.

ere's an example:

   user-agent: FreeFind
   disallow: /mysite/test/
   disallow: /mysite/cgi-bin/post.cgi?action=reply
   disallow: /a

In this example the following addresses would be ignored by the spider:

   http://adomain.com/mysite/test/index.html
   http://adomain.com/mysite/cgi-bin/post.cgi?action=reply&id=1
   http://adomain.com/mysite/cgi-bin/post.cgi?action=replytome
   http://adomain.com/abc.html

and the following ones would be allowed:

   http://adomain.com/mysite/test.html
   http://adomain.com/mysite/cgi-bin/post.cgi?action=edit
   http://adomain.com/mysite/cgi-bin/post.cgi
   http://adomain.com/bbc.html

It is also possible to use an "allow" in addition to disallows. For example:

   user-agent: FreeFind
   disallow: /cgi-bin/
   allow: /cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi
   allow: /cgi-bin/forumdisplay.cgi
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