How to hide links from search engines

5 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Recently a friend of mine told me about one interesting way to prevent indexing of a link on your site without link equity loss. It's quite an old technique, and I felt pretty embarrassed for not knowing about it, but as it's said, learning never stops That's why I decided to share it with you and ask your opinion on it.

First of all, let's figure out in which case you might want to hide your link from search engines:
-to manipulate link juice distribution within your website to prevent it's distribution to unimportant pages like filters or footer links.
-to keep link juice on your page while linking to another site.
-to hide links you don't want search engines to know about (e.g. referral links)
Probably, there're many other cases but these are the most common ones.

So there are three the most widespread ways to prevent indexing of the link on your site:
-Setting nofollow to a particular link. It's the first and the easiest way that comes to the mind when you don't want to transfer link equity to the target page you are linking to. But the thing is that this method neither transfers link equity to the target page, nor keeps it on your page, it simply burns it. *POOF*, gone.
-Another way is to use Java script to hide your links from search engines. I'm not a big fan of Java script, so I can't tell much about it, but the thing I know for sure is that Google already knows how to dig deep into it. Thus there is no guarantee your links will remain undetected. However, some complicated scripts might still work.
-I've also seen people setting noindex on the target page or disallowing it in the robots.txt when they want to prevent link juice distribution to unimportant pages. For instance, one guy who asked my help disallowed all pages in the footer because he wanted to keep link equity within his important pages. But once again, it simply vanishes if you do like that.

That's where it comes to the technique I wanted to tell about - Post/Redirect/Get. I haven't found any solid piece of info about PRG in SEO (would be glad if you share some in comments), but after reading about it on Wiki and watching some videos you should understand how it works.

POST requests are used to send data you enter in different web forms (for example, when purchasing something or logging in) to the server. Search robots never use them making it an ideal way to hide your link.

How it works:
1. A web form (a button) that sends a POST request containing the URL you want to redirect to is created instead of an ordinary link.
2. The server gets it and redirects you.
3. Browser is sending another request (now it's GET) to get the data of a new page.

That's it! You'll also need to make your button look like an ordinary link using CSS.

This method allows to hide any links you don't want to be seen: affiliate links, footer links, filters etc.

I wish I could cover technical details of this method, but I simply can't find any examples through the web. I'll add a link to a decent source as soon as you share one. I know there are many SEOs here who definitely know about this method, so what are your thoughts about it?
#engines #hide #links #search
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author Rank Watch
    I think Google's AI is evolving and becoming smarter everyday. Sooner or later this technique might also come under Google's radar and the sides using this might get penalised. There's also a chance that this might be termed as a black hat technique. This has happened in the past too with other techniques. Google catches up, sooner or later!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11455939].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author lambertson
      Who cares whether it's called black or purple hat technique if it seems to work and Google doesn't seem to penalize for it (at least I haven't found any evidence, that's why I'm asking).
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11455996].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Spycardsstore1
    Not ready for your site to go public? You can hide your site from search engines to prevent it from showing in search results, such as Google.
    To hide your site from search engines:
    Go to Settings in your site's dashboard.
    Click the SEO tab.
    Scroll down to SEO Status.
    Click the Allow search engines to include your site in search results toggle to disable this option.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11457075].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author lambertson
      Originally Posted by Spycardsstore1 View Post

      Not ready for your site to go public? You can hide your site from search engines to prevent it from showing in search results, such as Google.
      To hide your site from search engines:
      Go to Settings in your site's dashboard.
      Click the SEO tab.
      Scroll down to SEO Status.
      Click the Allow search engines to include your site in search results toggle to disable this option.
      Not ready to say something relevant? You can leave this forum to prevent us from seeing your bs.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11457850].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Saravanan28
    Add disallow code in your robots.txt
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11462121].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics