Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Steve Bonin on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, October 24, 2013).

How to protect my content?

Dumb SEO question for today...

Re:  

I wrote some great content in the form of a Report and it is stored on my website as a PDF.
I am offering this "Free Report" to anybody who signs up for my newsletter.
I use MailChimp if it matters,
I then created a Thank you page that MailChimp will send my new subscribers to when they sign up and from there they can download the Free Report.

My question:
Should I noindex the page so users will not find the page and get the report without signing up for the newsletter or just not worry about it and if I get tons of traffic (from people stealing my free report) the single link to my HOME page will pass lots of SEO juice?

I know it sounds kinda` stupid, but I want to know how other people view this.

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OUR ANSWERS

Answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Panelists.

  • Edwin Jonk: Since you are complaining about "people stealing" your ebook you might attach your authorship on it. Namely in your PDF you can link to your Google plus profile with the rel=author parameter to it: http://plus.google.com/profile_number?rel=author Alternatively you can use a verified email to send the authorship, where you verify an email which is on the same TLD. Personally I use the URL parameter because I think it is more explicit and (thereby) a clearer signal. But that is an opinion. Furthermore, this wouldn`t prevent any "stealing" of your content, nor will it force people to sign up for the newsletter, but it will help Google to credit you as the original author. And, thereby, the "stealing" might not that bad and can even benefit you in the long run. That is, maybe people convert by visiting your Google Plus profile. And there are probably other benefits too.
YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Steve Bonin: Dumb SEO question for today...

    Re:  ;<meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />

    I wrote some great content in the form of a Report and it is stored on my website as a PDF.
    I am offering this "Free Report" to anybody who signs up for my newsletter.
    I use MailChimp if it matters,
    I then created a Thank you page that MailChimp will send my new subscribers to when they sign up and from there they can download the Free Report.

    My question:
    Should I noindex the page so users will not find the page and get the report without signing up for the newsletter or just not worry about it and if I get tons of traffic (from people stealing my free report) the single link to my HOME page will pass lots of SEO juice?

    I know it sounds kinda' stupid, but I want to know how other people view this.
  • Dave Elliott: people aren't that likely to find it through a search engine if there is just two links on the page! I'd be more concerned with someone putting a link on a forum or something like that. Is there not a way in mail chimp to mmake sure the person NEEDS to have signed up for the mail list? Some sort of unique parameters passed into a link that gets emailed to them? I'm fairly sure there is, but don't have mail chimp access here.
  • Steve Bonin: + thanks. I was wondering more as a concept. Should we care if someone steals the report? Its the traffic worth allowing people to steal it or are subscribers worth more?
  • Dave Elliott: Depends how effective your email marketing campaigns are I guess. Also may depend if you have links or at the very least very good branding on the report so that they visit the site that way. I cant imagine the link on the download page being a factor as those who steal it wont know if you are credible/interesting or whatever untill after they have read the report and are unlikely to go back to that page...... possibly, I think.... I fully acknowledge I have made all that up.
  • Tony McCreath: Make sure the PDF contains working links back to your website. So if it is stolen or passed around people can find who created it.

    PDFs don't have meta tags. To no index there is an http header you can use. I think it's called META_ROBOTS. Simpler is to place them in a folder and disallow that folder via the robots.txt file.
  • Jim Munro: I think you are right, Tony. It seems like a good idea to make sure there are links to your site within the PDF.

    The server header response you are looking for is "X-Robots-Tag: noindex"
  • Steve Bonin: + ;+ ;Thanks guys, I think that is what I am looking for.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Thursday, October 24, 2013).

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