Is Password Protected Content Indexable by Search Engines?
Q: I am optimizing a site that has content filled with search terms but a lot of the content is in a wordpress document that is password protected for the user. Is that content still searchable?
A: Pages that are password-protected will not be accessible to the search engines. Search engine robots typically can’t log in to crawl pages, so content behind a login will not make it into the search index.
When possible, we recommend creating teaser pages for password-protected materials. On the teaser page, the site owner can include a title and brief description of the content that will be accessed behind the password. This teaser content will be accessible by search engines, allowing them to index this limited version of your content. We also believe that teaser content is helpful for the user experience.
There is one available workaround: A prominent example of hidden content is when news organizations, such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, require a login in order to see their articles. These organizations have set up a “first click free” agreement with Google, which allows people to click on a search engine listing and view a single article without logging in. Click to read more on Google’s First Click Free program.