If you search for Cristiano Ronaldo on Google, one of the search results is his Instagram page. When you click on that search result, you are met with a login wall (at least on desktop). You cannot view any details from an Instagram page without logging in first, as reported here and here and here.


I thought that Google did not show search results that link to pages behind a login wall. Is my understanding incorrect? How does Instagram convince Google to show its pages in search results, despite the login wall?

The reason that I'm asking is that I am considering developing a login wall for my own website that I am developing. It is important to understand how would treat a website with a login wall.

  • Instagram doesn't have a "login wall" i.stack.imgur.com/BvPDY.png – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 9 at 9:39
  • @StephenOstermiller I've edited the question to make it clearer that Instagram does have a login wall. I'm not sure why you are not experiencing it, maybe Instagram is doing an A/B test. – Flimm Mar 9 at 10:28
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    More accurately, Instagram's login wall doesn't prevent you from viewing that page when clicking from the Google search results. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 9 at 10:49
  • @StephenOstermiller It does for me, on a guest profile on desktop Chrome with no extensions. Although, on mobile, there does not seem to be a login wall. – Flimm Mar 9 at 11:46
  • Here is a more full test using nine different popular browsers on different operating systems: app.crossbrowsertesting.com/public/i2a11f6a3a18c91f/screenshots/… The test just hits the URL on instagram without clicking from the Google search results. Only one of the browsers got the pay wall. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 9 at 12:00

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