Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I run an online game. The only pages one can access without an account are the homepage, register, lost password, contact me.

If I were to make more of my pages public, and add links to them from the homepage, would this help gain traffic?

The pages I am think about making public are the forums, player profiles and game statistics.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes, because people are likely to link to them, in particular players who also have another website, blog, or profile in another service may add a link to their player profile. Depending on what's discussed in the forums, people may link to some particular threads too, but it's a bit less likely. I don't see how game statistics would help at all, though.

Now, there's a difference between "helping gain traffic" and "increasing rank with search engines". Nofollowed links, for instance, won't help your site gain rank at all, but might attract more traffic nonetheless (if players link to their profiles in a social network or forum signature etc their contacts might want to check it out).

In particular, I'd suggest making it easy for players to embed their profiles in other pages in an easy and compelling fomat, like the Stack Exchange user flair.

share|improve this answer

Exposing more pages would certainly help your website out, but there is a third way: Google's First Click Free.

This allows Google to index your password protected content and users to view a single page of it without registration - but only the first page. From Google's Webmaster Central Blog:-

To implement First Click Free, you must allow all users who find your page through Google search to see the full text of the document that the user found in Google's search results and that Google's crawler found on the web without requiring them to register or subscribe to see that content. The user's first click to your content is free and does not require logging in. You may, however, block the user with a login or payment or registration request when he tries to click away from that page to another section of your content site.

Note that the blog is dated 2008, but the support article is dated 2012 and the program is still current.

Technical guidelines are available here

This way you get the benefits of the Google index but maintain a degree of control.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.