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We have a website that contains company profile pages. Each page has information on a company, the information is all displayed as text to users who are logged in.

We are now planning to allow users who are logged out to see parts of profile pages. We are doing this for SEO and to gain search traffic.

The logged out view shows some parts of a profile as one would see if they were logged in, and other parts are blurred out. We blurred them using CSS, and so that a visitor cannot view the text in the page source we also jumbled up the words.

Search engines will see this jumbled up text. Is this bad for SEO? Should we scrap the jumbled up text idea and come up with a different solution?

Thank you!

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1 Answer

Having lots of pages that make no sense to the search engines such as Google is not going to help and a problem you face is juice is leaked to those pages as well as diluting your authority on the domain as a whole.

Since these pages hold no value to search engines and the chances are they will never be ranked your best of using:

  • blocking search bots on these URLS.
  • using meta noindex, nofollow on the pages.
  • Using nofollow links internally to these pages, normally I'm against internal no-follows but if you have a page such a /users/ then no-following on the top level only will block juice being feed.

Now with this said if some to a lot of content is displayed on these pages then I would ignored the above and rather than using CSS/PHP to block the text and confusing the search engines I would use something like a div background element, this way Google will not factor it into the search results while giving people the idea of the blocked content.

Example HTML:

<div id="profile">
     <div class="content">
         <p>I am content that everyone can see</p>
     </div>
     <div class="hidden"> </div>
</div>

Example CSS:

.hidden {background:url("blur.png")

So every profile page would look the same but give the impression you need without factoring in random text:

blur

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Thank you for the reply! I am new to this particular part of the Stack Exchange network so can't upvote yet. –  Daniel Apr 4 '13 at 13:23
    
Hi @bybe I'm daniel's partner. I've upvoted you. We've looked into replacing text with an image but that causes a problem for us: If a company's profile is empty it will give the logged-out user the impression that the profile isn't empty. After logging-in/registering and viewing the profile again they may feel betrayed by the empty profile because they logged-in/registered under the impression that the profile wasn't empty. –  Xecure Apr 4 '13 at 18:29
    
What we've decided to go with is the original CSS-blurring/text-jumbling but we're wrapping this blurred/jumbled text with a span and hiding it via a display:none so that search engines will skip over it. And then adding a jQuery code $('.blur').show() to have it displayed to users. Do you think that will cause any problems with search engines? –  Xecure Apr 4 '13 at 18:37
    
Google scans display:none, and indexes content within display:none as there is many useful things that can be done that require indexing, such as tabs. –  bybe Apr 4 '13 at 20:14
    
How about document.write()? Would wrapping that around the jumbled/blurred text prevent search bots from picking it up? –  Xecure Apr 4 '13 at 21:27
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