How to post a link without getting caught

He has: 688 posts

Joined: Feb 2001

Sounds funny but I'm totally serious. How can/should I place links in my posts on these forums without getting caught by spiders and 'bots? How do you post links without posting links?

Many of you may have noticed but recently I've been asking for members to check out xyz links, but I've been making it difficult. I either post the link and then remove the link within a week or I type it in a screwy way that requires manual manipulation. Sorry. I'm not trying to be an a-hole. So let me explain why I've been doing this.

In the past I've Google several of my websites. Either I check the linkbacks or just simple searches for some of the key words. Long story short - due to all the major search engines indexing this website, I often find results from The Webmaster Forums. Now there's nothing wrong with that simple fact but this can be especially problematic when dealing with a client's website. For example, a result may reveal to a client or their customers that I was having difficulty with aspects of creating the site. Everybody needs help from time to time (me more than others) but it's still potentially damaging to your image. Another example is even worse. If you submit your site to the critique area (a very valuable section of the site that I like very much), you open yourselft open to your client or their customers finding conversations about ways in which the site is... um... lets just say "imperfect".

I never had a client find any of these TWF convesations about their websites (not any that have told me so) but I've found them myself and therefore it's possible that they can to. So back to my original question. How can I say "check out this site/page" without risking being caught by a search engine? Linking without the text risks a linkback result. Simple text without the link gets caught too (ie, typing the domain name is Google will come back with results from here too if it was written.) So what can I or anybody do to avoid this dillema without annoying all the members who are trying to help out and follow a cryptic link?

I keep babbling on but I think y'all know what I'm talking about. Any ideas or adice?

He has: 1,758 posts

Joined: Jul 2002

can you use html in the comments? if so put rel="nofollow" on the a tag.

He has: 688 posts

Joined: Feb 2001

I know all the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and MSN) decided to adopt that tag do to blog spamming. It seems like a good idea but HTML is turned off in both posts and signatures.

In addition to my question(s), I know I'm being paranoid but do y'all think I'm being overly paranoid or do you think I make a good point. I remember doing a search for a client in the past and a TWF critique came up where people were constructively pointing out flaws in my design and code and saying "IMO, I don't like the way that looks". All innocent but I feel that I or any of us may get caught by a client one day.
:explode:

Megan's picture

She has: 11,421 posts

Joined: Jun 1999

No, I think this is an interesting question. I wonder how likely it is that the client would actually do a search for themselves and actually find that information. You could put something into your agreement to say that you plan on discussing the design in progress in a public forum and make sure they agree with that. I think it might be a good idea to do that anyway, just so they are aware that you will be discussing some aspects of their site development with outsiders

demonhale's picture

He has: 3,278 posts

Joined: May 2005

Megan wrote: No, I think this is an interesting question. I wonder how likely it is that the client would actually do a search for themselves and actually find that information. You could put something into your agreement to say that you plan on discussing the design in progress in a public forum and make sure they agree with that. I think it might be a good idea to do that anyway, just so they are aware that you will be discussing some aspects of their site development with outsiders

Good Point sometimes client take it as a good practice to consider other peoples opnion...

timjpriebe's picture

He has: 2,667 posts

Joined: Dec 2004

I've had one client find this site and see their site mentioned. In fact, he followed my link to a demo version of the site and saw it earlier than I had planned. He liked it, though.

Busy's picture

He has: 6,151 posts

Joined: May 2001

If you are hosting the said site, you could use a redirect (header: gosomeotherpage or if no server side use html meta refresh to new page with meta robots no follow) as search engines dislike redirects.
Wouldn't cut them all out but would cut at least half

Renegade's picture

He has: 3,022 posts

Joined: Oct 2002

Haha, Busy beat me to it.

I was going to suggest two things, but are essentially the same thing.

1, Use a redirect since Search Engines don't really like them

2, Put up a permanent domain such as example.help.co.nz and have a single HTML with a frame which links to the actual site you'd like help on. I agree this maybe a little more troublesome for our readers and possibly for you though...

I guess any option is fine, just ask yourself, "is it worth it"?

They have: 52 posts

Joined: Dec 2002

You can always just post the URL but not let it be a hyperlink.
Ex. -www.phplinkdirectory.com

robfenn's picture

He has: 471 posts

Joined: Jun 2005

He said the engines still find the threads though...

I think it is a very good point you have made fifeclub, although if it was something i was to undertake too i would deem it as over reactive as i think the chances are so small with my clients. If i had a very important client, and i really thought i needed help, i'd be willing to pay £10 to buy any old domain name and re-direct it to the actual website.

-Rob

JeevesBond's picture

He has: 3,955 posts

Joined: Jun 2002

The only other way - I can think of - around this is to create a little client area on your site for testing and critique then move it to the sites proper domain when you're ready to make it live. Only problem with this is that it promotes link rot, but you can't have everything. Smiling

Do that or let your client know your intentions when you start the project - as Megan suggested. I'd imagine most clients would be impressed that you're putting your own work under professional scrutiny!

a Padded Cell our articles site!

CptAwesome's picture

He has: 370 posts

Joined: Dec 2004

He has: 688 posts

Joined: Feb 2001

CptAwesome wrote: Just use http://tinyurl.com/

http://tinyurl.com/9rgyv (just a link to this very thread)

I've seen tiny url links before but thought they were just crappy cloaking urls. That is AWESOME! That would totally eliminate that risk I was worried about. Problem solved. Thanks!

Laughing out loud

P.S. So how does tinyurl.com make their money? I don't get it?

P.P.S. dvduval - positng the url without a link will prevent Google from indexing that linked site but Google will still pickup the text which can be found in search results.

JeevesBond's picture

He has: 3,955 posts

Joined: Jun 2002

Ohhhh, sweet. Problem solved then, I'll remember that. Nice one Mr Awsome Wink

demonhale's picture

He has: 3,278 posts

Joined: May 2005

Awesome beat me to it, Oh well...

He has: 377 posts

Joined: May 2005

the only thing i can suggest is that you link to a sepeate page in your host account and have all the nessecery links there, tha way it is less likely to be picked up and you'd only have to "censor" one page every week.

Want to join the discussion? Create an account or log in if you already have one. Joining is fast, free and painless! We’ll even whisk you back here when you’ve finished.