Hiding my download pages...

20 replies
Correct me if I'm wrong but if I wanted to hide my download page for a product on my site, adding that specific page to the robots.txt file means that anyone smart enough can just find my robots.txt file and see what my hidden pages are.?

I've downloaded SEO by Yoast and have gone to the specific download page and set it to noindex, nofollow, I then went to Google Webmasters Tools and remove the said page.

I'm just left wondering now whether to add the page to the robots.txt file.

Many thanks
#download #hiding #pages
  • Profile picture of the author joekoffi
    The noindex nofollow meta tags already do the job
    Adding it to robot file simply trying to hide from search engines while expressly giving it out to some humans who already know how that works.

    My opinion - > don't add to robot txt
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  • Profile picture of the author vikash_kumar
    If you are using wordpress... You can make that page password protected or else use membership plugin to give restricted access of your download page.... Don't depend upon the indexing or non-indexing of your download page in the search engines...
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    • Profile picture of the author geoscash1
      Do a quick search on google, there is a short snippet of code you can add in the header of the download page. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called but I use it and it seems to work. If I can locate the link I'll post it.


      I think if your a member at jvzoo there is also a snippet of code you can copy and paste from there too..
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    I was going to say the same, password protect the page, or use a membership plugin/script. Even $7dollarsecrets script will help.

    Or using a shopping cart software so buyers need an "account" do have download access. Though that might be over kill.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevord92
    As well as using Yoast to no index, I use two other plugins:
    • Exclude Pages from Navigation - I use that because my download pages are Wordpress pages & I don't want them to be on the menu
    • Search Exclude - that stops the pages from showing up in the regular Wordpress search results
    If you're using plugins like Yet Another Related Post then you'll need to do something there as well - I just uninstalled it (I'm a bit lazy like that!) but I guess there will be ones where you can exclude some pages from the suggestions.


    Also make the page names relatively unguessable.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidAllenNeron
    Originally Posted by Vladutz View Post

    Correct me if I'm wrong but if I wanted to hide my download page for a product on my site, adding that specific page to the robots.txt file means that anyone smart enough can just find my robots.txt file and see what my hidden pages are.?

    I've downloaded SEO by Yoast and have gone to the specific download page and set it to noindex, nofollow, I then went to Google Webmasters Tools and remove the said page.

    I'm just left wondering now whether to add the page to the robots.txt file.

    Many thanks

    I don't want any risk of theft out of the gate plus I really enjoy the added features of using S2Member.

    It does an amazing job of handling your download pages and keeping your content safe for your paying customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    the easiest way to protect download pages is to put your product behind a login system, which has a protected folder which is hidden from anyone who is not logged into the members area
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    • Originally Posted by Robert Puddy View Post

      the easiest way to protect download pages is to put your product behind a login system, which has a protected folder which is hidden from anyone who is not logged into the members area
      I've been wondering about this for a while...for example, if I have a video tutorial series that I'm selling, I want my buyers to be directed to a login page so they can login and view the videos. My question is how do I assign user names and passwords for each buyer? I guess in theory this could be classified as a membership site and I know nothing about these!
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      • Profile picture of the author Adrianhenry
        Originally Posted by ChantalVanderlaan View Post

        I've been wondering about this for a while...for example, if I have a video tutorial series that I'm selling, I want my buyers to be directed to a login page so they can login and view the videos. My question is how do I assign user names and passwords for each buyer? I guess in theory this could be classified as a membership site and I know nothing about these!
        Their username can be the email address that they used to pay with paypal then you can just send them a generated password once they have paid. Either that or you can make them register a username and password before hand then just register their purchase.
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        • Originally Posted by Adrianhenry View Post

          Their username can be the email address that they used to pay with paypal then you can just send them a generated password once they have paid.
          I would prefer that this would be automated.

          Originally Posted by Adrianhenry View Post

          Either that or you can make them register a username and password before hand then just register their purchase.
          What kind of software would I need for something like this?
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Be aware that protecting the download page (though obviously worth doing) is of very limited value, in the case of a PDF, if you don't also protect the product itself.

            Most illicit downloads happen after someone has uploaded the product to a black-hat/filesharing/torrent site. Protecting only the download page doesn't prevent that. (But it's pretty easy to protect against probably 99% of instances of that by using something like e-Junkie's PDF stamper. Not cast iron, but well worth using).

            .
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          • Profile picture of the author Adrianhenry
            Originally Posted by ChantalVanderlaan View Post

            I would prefer that this would be automated.



            What kind of software would I need for something like this?
            This could be automated. If they pay with paypal that email address could be saved into your data base along with a autogenerated password which can be automatically emailed to them along with a link to the download page after purchasing. They then go to the download page which is hidden by a login page and they just enter their paypal email and the password you sent them and voila!

            I don't know of any plugins that do this as I tend to code the functionality myself when I need it. But I am sure that something like this exists somewhere as a plugin
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
        Originally Posted by ChantalVanderlaan View Post

        I've been wondering about this for a while...for example, if I have a video tutorial series that I'm selling, I want my buyers to be directed to a login page so they can login and view the videos. My question is how do I assign user names and passwords for each buyer? I guess in theory this could be classified as a membership site and I know nothing about these!
        Just look on it as a site builder, and don't get hung up on the membership site thing.

        every site I own, no matter even if I'm list building with a squeeze page it's based on membership site builder software, now alexa is correct about PDF files once its downloaded it can be distributed no matter what you do.

        but with video you can make it so they cant download it and have to log in to watch them. Im not allowed to make a recommendation for software to do this, it would be seen as self promotion but the answer is staring you in the face hahahahahaha
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        • Profile picture of the author Adrianhenry
          Originally Posted by Robert Puddy View Post

          Just look on it as a site builder, and don't get hung up on the membership site thing.

          every site I own, no matter even if I'm list building with a squeeze page it's based on membership site builder software, now alexa is correct about PDF files once its downloaded it can be distributed no matter what you do.

          but with video you can make it so they cant download it and have to log in to watch them. Im not allowed to make a recommendation for software to do this, it would be seen as self promotion but the answer is staring you in the face hahahahahaha
          Issue here is that most of the blackhat types who are willing to share content are also tech savvy. Any tech savvy person can download your video even if you havent got that feature. No matter how well you try to stop them they will always be able to. To watch the video on your browser it has to be downloaded to your computer somewhere. Intercepting that isnt too difficult for those in the know.

          That is kind of the point, no matter what you do you will never be able to stop people getting hold of and sharing your content if they choose to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrianhenry
    Re the OP. Being concerned about theft of your products is natural and you should want to protect your download pages but at the end of the day the people that want your content for free will get hold of it regardless how hard you try. The blackhat sharing community is wide and if they want something they generally get it.

    Having said that thought the majority of people will be willing to pay for your content so its not something that you should be overly concerned about. Just some basic protection on the page will suffice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dolpet
    If you really care with your products, good way if use membership plugin for your website.
    if you use wordpress, s2member or memberpro can handle it..
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    You don't even have to be that tech savvy or that much in the know, it's not that difficult to download something like video's.
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    If you use WooCommerce you can set it to "force downloads". The download starts as soon as the purchase is complete, so there is no download page per. se.. Digital/Downloadable Product Handling | WooThemes Documentation (not an affiliate link).
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  • Profile picture of the author OliviasDad
    Yes, with WordPress, there are PLENTY of plugin solutions for creating membership areas or protect certain pages...

    And yes, once someone get a copy of whatever you are providing, nothing stops them from "sharing"

    It's just like the retail stores, you have to allow for a certain amount of "breakage", which is basically saying that you expect people to steal a certain percentage of what you are selling...
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I use DLGuard. It isn't free, but once you buy it, you can use it for as many products as you want to. It provides an expiring download link to the product after payment. You can also ban serial refunders or other bad customers from buying from you again. I don't know what I'd do without it.
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