I have pages on my site that only make sense with a login. For example I have a user settings page at /user and a list of a user's subscriptions at /subscriptions. It would be useful to users if search engines could point them at these pages, even though there is no content here.

What is the best way to provide the best information and experience to search engines. For example I am concerned with at least the following:

  • Title and snippet.
  • Visibility in the index at all.
  • Ranking.

My first idea is basically "do nothing". Provide a 302 SEE OTHER redirect.

This page does appear in Google searches, but it has a very low rank and the title and snippet are from the login page, not the page a user would see once logged in.

Another option is providing a "preview" page. For example list the content of the user settings page with default values and a banner "You are not logged in, login to change your settings".

This should work well as it is "just another page" to search engines but provides a worse experience to users (an extra click).

Which of these options do you think would work better, or do you have another solution?

1 Answer 1


For non-logged-in users, provide a prominent button to log in. Give the page a nice title. Add some text that is ok for users to read but mainly aimed at Google. This is also the page Google will crawl since the Google bot is a non-logged-in user.

For logged-in users, change nothing.

This way you have:

  1. Good user experience for logged-in users
  2. Good user experience for non-logged-in users
  3. A page Google can crawl, index, and rank

Good user experience for logged-in users

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