Regarding your Membership plugin...

Hi - I need clarity about an important aspect of your membership plugin. If I understand correctly, the plugin would allow me to limit content of a page or post to a reader, until they signed up to my site. But how does this affect SEO and Google's ability to rank that post? ie. if the content is hidden, will Google still be able to view all the content and rank the page accordingly, or will the content be hidden from the search engines too, therefore decreasing ranking?



  • Elliott Bristow

    Hi @kualabear,

    Unless something has changed recently and I've missed the release notes, I'm afraid Ashley is not quite correct. Search engines, such as Google, are treated as Strangers by the Membership plugin. If you have hidden content to strangers then Google will not be able to index the content.

    With some careful planning you could allow strangers access to certain strategic content that will help your SEO, using wither the More Tag protection system or using shortcodes to protect the content and allowing an excerpt to be displayed, but if you just protect the whole page so that it redirects, google will get redirected along with the rest of your strangers.

  • kualabear

    Hi @elliott, thanks for your updated response. I was indeed still hesitant after Ashley's initial reply. I intend to use shortcodes to restrict content, so as to allow for title, excerpt and say 500 word post intro to be displayed, but that still means the remaining content of that particular post will be overlooked by Google, which is frustrating to say the least, and I'm unsure how get the best result in this situation.

    I understand this is probably a common downfall that resonates through all of these types of plugins, be it from WPMU or elsewhere, so I'm not frustrated at your particular product, (from what I've seen so far it's really impressive).

    I guess I'll have to rethink this one.

    Thanks for your help.


    P.s You referred to a 'More Tag Protection System' - could you elaborate for me?

  • Elliott Bristow

    This is indeed one of the big issues plugin developers will continue to argue over for many years to come... how to protect content without killing Search rankings.

    By "More Tag" protection, what I mean is, the plugin has a system to protect any content you place after the "More" tag in a post. A more tag creates a more button on your page that reveals the rest of the page content.

    In the plugin settings under Membership > Options > Content Protection there is a section at the bottom labelled "More Tag default". This will let you choose alternative text to show users to whom you have not give permission to open the more tag. It's similar to shortcode protection, but without the shortcode.

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