During John Mueller’s 10/1/2021 hangout, one webmaster was concerned about any penalties in place for password-protected websites.
The webmaster created a site for his mom’s business using Squarespace. He set up password protection and was wondering if Google penalizes you if a user cannot access the page.
The webmaster is having problems with the site performing as a result of the password protection.
John explained that there is no penalty for having password protection.
However, it does mean that Google cannot access the content behind the password.
Basically, if Google can’t access the content behind the password, there is no way for them to see your content in order to evaluate it.
The exchange occurs at approximately 48:15 in the video below.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Thank you very much for doing this. So basically, I did a small website for my mom’s business using a CMS tool called Squarespace. I know that they automatically submit a sitemap once you create a new page.
And now we’ve decided to add e-comm functionality like about two weeks ago. And the site was password protected. So my first question would be if Google penalizes you in a way if the user can’t access the page if it’s basically just password protected?
And the second would be, yeah, the site was basically indexed and shown really nicely, and the pages before, but after editing all those products and different pages. I looked it up on Google Search Console for crawling. But basically, my mom has given me a hard time now when these pages are going to be shown again. So I’m kind of looking for answers.
Yeah, I think… So there is no penalty for having password protection, but it means that we can’t access the content behind the password. So probably, that is the initial step that happened. With regards to kind of turning on almost like an e-commerce site or shop section on your website.
We actually have a whole article on that now in our search documentation, specifically for e-commerce sites. So I would take a look at that. There might be some tricks that you missed out on that can help to speed things up there.