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WebmasterWorld doesn't allow my 2nd click  (View post)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
11 years ago6,819 views

Whenever I research stuff and stumble upon WebmasterWorld forum content, the second click from a Google result is blocked with a registration box, hiding the thing I saw in the Google snippet. I heard from someone else that they don't see this behavior. Is this a local thing, or something connected to my provider? What do you get when you click on a result from Webmaster World for a second time?

Try this search for instance google.com/search?q=site:webma ... and hit the first result, then go back and check the second result in Google... the second time, do you see all content or do you see a registraton box?

Here's a screengrab of what I'm seeing: blogoscoped.com/video/first-cl ...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I got the second click free but the third one displayed a registration box.

Furthermore, every other result I clicked after that also displayed a registration box. I thought "first click free" concept was supposed to apply to each page rather than each site. What if the first result didn't answer your question?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> I got the second click free but the third one
> displayed a registration box.

Do you mean the second click while you were clicking around at WebmasterWorld... or the second click from a Google result onto WebmasterWorld? I'm strictly talking about the latter in the problem I described... similar to your second paragraph...

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Hi Pilipp, if you run into sites that you feel are not complying with our Webmaster Guidelines (eg. do not fully support First Click Free despite being indexed with the content), feel free to use the spam report form in your Google Webmaster Tools account.

John

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

John, thanks, what I'm more interested in actually is how Google follows up on its proclaimed policies, less so than what sites like WebmasterWorld do. And to better judge that part, what I'm interested in now is to find out if people from e.g. the US see something else than I do (or Tony does). After all, Matt Cutts already said he will check the issue, when he posted in 2007 saying:

"When I get a chance to tackle Philipp’s most recent report, I’ll be looking at consistency: when a Google user clicks on a search result at Google, they should always see the same page that Googlebot saw. It will take me a little time to check out, because it’s a report of behavior that often meets our guidelines (e.g. cookies, referrers, IP addresses might all come into play), but I do intend to investigate this issue when I get the cycles. I won’t consider this issue closed until I have the time to investigate how consistently the return-the-same-content-as-Googlebot-saw behavior happens; it should happen for every click from a Google search result."
mattcutts.com/blog/a-quick-wor ...

One person from the US told me they do not see what I described above. So, do you see the behavior I'm describing above?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Do you mean the second click while you were clicking
> around at WebmasterWorld... or the second click from
> a Google result onto WebmasterWorld?

The second click when I was clicking through from the same Google result.

Garett Rogers [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I see the same thing as Tony – the first and second clicks are free, then the third shows a registration box.

If i visit one of the first two links that were previously "free", they now greet me with the same registration box.

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I can click as much as I want (I try clicking three or four links) from Google results and it works BUT when I follow a link to another thread on a site directly (not via Google) I get the registration box, and after that links in Google stop working (I got registration page when I try to click on links to other threads in Google)

Above 8 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[Edit: In the last paragraph, changed "Back in 2006 Google's Matt Cutts said..." to "Back in 2007 Google's Matt Cutts said..." (my original post on this was from 2006, but Matt replied in 2007).]

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

it's not related to "google searched" as your title says.
I've subscribed for years to Webmasterworld RSS feed with Google Reader. Each time is the same: if it's the first time (of the day?) that I click, then I can see the page; else I got the registration form.

Wayne Elgin [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Agreed.

For what it's worth, I can click into two results for free from Google before being hit with the registration block.

I personally don't hit upon many WMW results that are relevant to what I'm searching, anymore (maybe because my web history knows that I stopped clicking them and adjusted accordingly?) I've also migrated to searching Google Groups primarily for my web dev questions, as I find it's more in tune with my interests. I can also narrow down on the official groups like jQuery if I want to, but it also includes web forums, so it broadens things a bit.

Anyway, like partial RSS feeds, I don't see a huge benefit to this type of business model, long term. I'm not going to give you great contributions if you're holding my content hostage, IMO.

But, the discussion about the arbitrary rules on the part of Google is interesting. I don't know that it's as explicit as all that, i.e. Google isn't making people even care about how things come through the algorithms. It's not like Joe the Web Programmer has to cow tow to Google if he hopes to be listed. However, we're talking about an extreme corner case of SEO hosts who want the most bang for their paid-content buck. I guess from my point of view, if you want to walk that tight-rope, you better get used to adjusting your balance.

-Wayne

weston deboer [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

i stopped going to webmaster world because of this years ago.

Paul C [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The Australian broadband discussion forum Whirlpool (www.whirlpool.net.au) makes clever use of robots.txt and google to display ad-supported pages to visitors who come via google. They also provide the option to return to normal mode.

This seems like a good SEO balance, as hits from google can be monetised without forcing your regular users to see ads.

Example: google.com.au/search?hl=en& ...

Jimmy Bergmark - JTB World [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Is this similar as this behavior?
This page is limited in comment content
[http: //www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Development/MS-
SQL-Server/Q_23183487.html]
compared to
64.233.183.104/search?q=cache: ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Jimmy, they seem to make use of Google's allowed "First Click Free" (for Google users) cloaking, or whatever you might want to call that. When you visit the URL from Google, you get more content if you scroll way down (though the amount of scrolling needed might convince even some people coming from Google that the info might not be there). When you visit the URL from another referrer (at least checking with e.g. blogoscoped.com as referrer, or using no referrer at all), they hide that bottom content.

Wonder if they had always been doing that FCF-conformant-cloaking or if that's new since Google's FCF post? Wikipedia contains the following:

<<It has been frequently alleged on various web bulletin boards that Experts-Exchange engages regularly in questionable tactics to deceive potential customers. Previously, Experts-Exchange showed a different content for its pages when they were crawled by search engine spiders.[32] This was considered a form of cloaking, which is considered a violation of most search engines' terms of service.[33]

In 2005, a Greasemonkey script was published on the internet which would hide results from Experts-Exchange website from Google search results, when installed.[34] Comments on this script are controversial, especially because there are a few ways to get to Experts-Exchange's answers without subscribing to the web site.[35]>>
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experts- ...

Jimmy Bergmark - JTB World [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Even if you scroll down you don't see the content. You can just see the question but not the replies. I cannot see how this goes under First Click Free.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Even if you scroll down you don't see the content.

When I visit the page in question from a Google, I can see the content (e.g. after searching Google for "sql query not running in vb.net"). You don't see it when visiting from Google?

Jimmy Bergmark - JTB World [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I don't see the complete content with comments at all if I search for "sql query not running in vb.net" (without the quotes) and visit the site from Google.
google.com/search?ie=UTF-16&am ...

I see now that if I search for "Simply put myCon does not contain those objects" in Google and visit the page I come to the page so I can see the answers as the text I search for was in the answer.
google.com/search?hl=en&ie ...

Tricky!
;-)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I just came across a WebmasterWorld result again so I wanted to give it a try once more to see if anything changed. Indeed, now when trying I got the full content as shown in Google for any click from Google, not just the first one... I saw no more blocking! Anyone else?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

On a related note, I've seen more and more sites use this technique:

britannica.com/EBchecked/topic ...

i.e. Load the full content but obscure it using overlays, which will only disappear if you sign up. (Wait for the page to load, scroll a bit and then wait.)

It's easy to copy and paste the content out if you want to read it uninterrupted but for the average user this would be very annoying, especially when the obscurity keeps on popping up each time your close it!

I wonder what Google's stance is on that type of thing. I mean, technically, the content is there. It's the same for Googlebot as it is for the users. Except you could say that Googlebot has x-ray vision as it can read through the popup...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

In this example I can close the popup with an "x" in the top right. Do you have examples of such tactics which don't offer any close button? (I'm curious on Google's stance on either technique, with or without close button, but I wanted to see if there's sites which go further...)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I think I saw one on a forum or Q&A site the other day. I'll check my web history tomorrow.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's the example I was thinking of (thanks Google Web History!):

sqlservercentral.com/articles/ ...

It's the top answer for this:

google.com/search?q=syscolumns ...

Even though half the article is cut off, they still obscure most of the opening snippet. And interestingly, it's not just the registration box that's obscuring the text. Edit the CSS to hide that box (.ShadedBox) and the text still isn't there...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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