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I have one link that is login-required http://example.com/secret If user access the page without authentication it will be redirected to http://example.com/login page.

My question is can Google bot index the /secret link? (I don't want it to be displayed on the Search results).

I'm confused because as this link it said:

It will show the source page in search results if it's temporary redirect (HTTP code 302)

and this link it said:

If you want to block your page from search results, use another method such as password protection

while /secret is also both password protection page and redirect source page. I'm not sure it will be indexed or not.

1 Answer 1

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This is not an appropriate use of the redirect mechanism. The proper way to handle this is to serve a 401 (Not Authorized) header and include your login form in the response.

while /secret is also both password protection page and redirect source page. I'm not sure it will be indexed or not.

If /secret is password protected at the server level and is only reachable by logged in users then it doesn't get indexed and Googlebot never gets redirected.

If /secret' is not password protected at the server level, Googlebot will have the same experience as an un-authenticated user, so it will be redirected to /login via whichever temporary redirect you choose. This doesn't solve your index problem. Google's indexing pipeline is going to consider any temporary redirect as a weak signal that the target should be canonical.

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  • Thank you for the answer. Can I understand the page is password-protected at the server level is only when it returns 401, otherwise if it redirects to Login page it's not password protected at server level? Currently the /secret is redirected to /login with 302 code. And I see it's normal behavior as gmail ( https://mail.google.com/mail/u) or facebook (https://www.facebook.com/friends)
    – Quoc Lap
    Jun 8 at 5:31
  • I'm not sure I understand your question here. Jun 8 at 12:50

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