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Does Google See Links On Websites With Paid Readership


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#1 andyjv

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 11:07 AM

Hi, 

 

Hoping someone can shed some light on this query.

 

I'm curious as to if Google can see links on websites that implement a paid service to read a full page. 

 

Websites in question are UK newspapers including The Times. To read a complete page you need to be a paying member. If a website has a link on the page but that link is hidden until the user logs in (if they have an account), will Google see that link?

 

Here is a link to show an example - 

 

www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/travel/Your_Travel/Travel_News/article1441370.ece

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Andy


Edited by Jill, 04 August 2014 - 01:03 PM.


#2 qwerty

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 11:41 AM

Google has that page indexed, so it's going to see the link, and I assume it's going to count it. The site may be using Google's First Click Free program.



#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 03:47 PM

The only possible caveat is that a recent "policy change" from Google (meaning, a Googler informally shared this with people) implies that Google may choose to ignore content that is not immediately visible to visitors.  They did not say if that would or could apply to any news sites using the "First Click Free" policy.

 

To be officially recognized as a source of news by Bing or Google means you are included in their news indexes (which use different databases, different algorithms, and different user interfaces).  The news stories are usually integrated into the Web search indexes at some point but neither search engine has explained exactly when and how this is done.  It is probably smoother now than it was a few years ago, but when you see a news article with a picture and byline in the Web search results, it is usually labeled as "a news result" or something like that, and we tend to distinguish between those injections and normal organic listings from the main Web index.

 

A news article may exist in both indexes and still appear in the main Web SERPs as both a news injection and as an organic listing (without the image and other annotations).



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:18 AM

 

but that link is hidden until the user logs in (if they have an account), will Google see that link

 

That would depend on HOW it is 'hidden'.



#5 andyjv

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:38 AM

 

That would depend on HOW it is 'hidden'.

 

It is hidden as not being shown in the webpage source code. 



#6 qwerty

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:15 AM

If the server is sniffing for Googlebot and presenting it with the version of the page that's seen by logged in users (see my link above), then Google will see the link.






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