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A rather suspect SEO paywall trick is to allow web spiders from search engines to see all content but lock the content behind a paywall for all other visitors.

For example:

As this unfairly advantages dishonest websites over honest websites in search results, why doesn't Google either:

  1. Mention that a website is behind a paywall; or
  2. Demote the website's search ranking by some sizable margin?

Given the skill of Google engineers, it would be trivial for Google to act as a normal visitor and check for selective paywalls.

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closed as off-topic by Anagio, Zistoloen, Stephen Ostermiller Oct 16 '13 at 9:57

  • This question does not appear to be about webmastering within the scope defined in the help center.
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I can of course fake the user-agent and other browser fingerprint information; but most people aren't power-users and this spoofing can swing the user<=>website pendulum too far back the other way. – LateralFractal Oct 16 '13 at 3:20
Your example doesn't seem to be behind a pay wall, I can view it fine. – Max Oct 16 '13 at 5:17
Ahh, it appears you get one free view. Click another story and the paywall kicks in. – Max Oct 16 '13 at 5:18
I probably got zero free views because my ninja-hardened browser rejects cookies by default and purges any white-listed cookies on exit. – LateralFractal Oct 16 '13 at 5:22
@LateralFractal that must be annoying having to log into websites constantly since you're not saving cookies. They really aren't bad, it's a simple text file what's the big deal if you enable them, make your life easier. As for SEO paywall tricks? It's not a trick, anyone can put up a paywall it has nothing to do with SEO or trying to game the the SE's – Anagio Oct 16 '13 at 6:44