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Is Hiding Thread Content Bad for SEO?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by DRE, May 7, 2013.

  1. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Thinking about making my General Chat forum public but only showing the thread titles, guests can't actually view thread content.
  2. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    It would definitely cut back on your relevancy, considering the bots can't read the content. So yeah, I'd say it's a little bad. Not sure what is relevant for general chat boards, though.
    DRE likes this.
  3. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    I remember reading somewhere that Google also will penalize you if they discover your content is different from what Google Bot sees and what an end-user sees.
  4. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    You could hide it for human guests and still keep the content in the source code. The problem is it may be seen as cloaking which may be bad for SEO if you get punished for it. So that wouldn't help. Better be safe than sorry if you like your site and its reputation.
  5. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    My General Chat forum is private but I want to show how many threads are in it.

    This is what it looks like as a guest.
    Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 9.03.29 PM.png

    While logged in.

    Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 9.03.58 PM.png

    I want Guests to be able to see how many discussions and messages are within that forum without actually being able to view the forum.
  6. Dynamic

    Dynamic Well-Known Member

    If I go to a forum and I need to sign up to view threads I leave. I would suggest keeping it open.

    It will also affect your SEO (to a point) as Google will not be able to view all the content in the threads, only the titles. Do not cloak, or they will take your site out of their index completely if you get busted.
  7. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    It's not that kind of forum. As a guest, you can see every thread on there now. What I'm saying is, you can't see anything in General Chat, which is fine, I just want people to know my forum ain't dead cause not everyone posts in the public forums. It's kind of hard to tell as a guest if no one can see much activity. I am okay with those threads not being seen though, would just like a visible counter in the subforum description.
  8. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    If that particular forum is already private, then it shouldn't matter if you show only thread titles. You weren't expecting search engines to pick up on that content in the first place, much like I don't expect them to pick up on the content of my admin/mod forums on my site.

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