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A friend has used SEMrush against our site and got the message that some links are "broken". The error given in the list of "broken links" is 401 Unauthorized.

The links go to a page that requires http authentication. They are of the form https://username:[email protected], automatically logging the user into an application normally secured with basic authentication, using a demo user account. SEMrush seems not to consider username and password, logging only protocol, server and path. When opening my site in chrome and clicking the link, I am correctly logged into the application.

Would this "problem" that SEMrush has identified be encountered by real search engines as well, and would search engines reduce visibility of our site due to this "issue"?

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If google would follow that link correctly with username and password. There would still be a problem.

Imagine following scenario: Demo Acccount Page -> Page_2 -> Page_3.... Page_2 and Page_3 require that user is logged in by visiting 'Demo Acount Page' link. But google just tries to index every page to make it visible in the search results and will fail to index Page_2 and Page_3.

You should remove such pages from indexing to avoid this.

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