A way to get Google index public content of an walled garden Elgg site


Say I have a walled garden Elgg site. I still want Google to index the pages/content which the authors marked as "public" as the access (secrecy) level.

Is there a way to do this?


  • No way bcz 'Walled garden' is a full closed function for Elgg

  • Assuming that the requirement is: To increase the hits to your site without compromising the walled garden nature. That is: protect the privacy and the curiosity factor.

    In my mind, biggest problem with walled-garden sites is that you lose the marketing cloud of google searches. Google can only index the login/register pages and 2 or 3 public static pages. So you only have 5 tickets to this ever running great Google hit lottery...

    I can think of 2 ways for doing this:

    1- Regularly (daily, weekly) extracting all/select content and making it available as static pages for Google indexing. Only the content marked as "public" by the owner would be generated. This would be like screen shot of all pages (index, groups, pages, events etc etc).

    I know that many non-elgg web sites use this method but I do not know how they resolve  this dilemma: Google should be able index the content but when user clicks, s/he should be displayed walled garden login screen. The thing is; the URL of those generated pages would presumibly be different from that of real pages. Then how to direct the user to the correct page (especially important if the user is already logged in and was merely performing a search on google)?

    So maybe a dynamic generation would be better, like what the_yke's sitemap plugin (http://community.elgg.org/plugins/1077524/0.2/auto-sitemap-dinamic-seo-sitemapxml-generation) does for another purpose? More or less, the idea is to leave a back door open for such content without making it too obvious for the general user.

    This program (I think) needs to run within Elgg as a plugin or so to be able to disregard the walled nature of Elgg.

    I do not know if such a plugin or other sort of software is available now. Maybe people can inform?

    2- Use iionly's "Login Required" plugin (http://community.elgg.org/plugins/804349/1.8.3/elgg-18-login-required).  As I understand from its description, via this plugin, you can specify which content to make public. I am assuming (you need to try) you can specify a specific group, page, event etc public. I do not know how it would treat the content marked with non-public access level (e.g. "friends only") on such pages. Obviously this is a compromise with the walled garden nature of the site, as such pages would be available not only for the indexing bots but also for users/surfers.

    These are what I can think, I am sure others will contribute with more solid information.

    Best Regards.

  • I don't understand the logic here.  What's the point of having a walled garden if you're going to make everything available through google cache?  That defeats the point of the walled garden doesn't it?

  • Facebook is walled garden right? But when I search Matt Beckett on google, it brings as search result Matt Beckett's profile page on facebook (albeit with limited information) anyways. It makes facebook appear in more search results and so people wonder what is this facebook and go there to register or login. More visitors the better.


  • ask facebook to give you their walled garden gpl code... 
    then you can have the same type of google seach results.


  • in what way is facebook's present format a 'walled garden'?

  • Indeed, facebook is NOT a walled garden.  I have the option of making absolutely everything public, or hiding it such that google can't see it.

    So walled garden is not what you're looking for.  Default elgg profiles allow you to set privacy settings on each piece of information as well as individual widgets so you can have the same "preview" in search engines with limited information.  That is all in control of the user.  You can take that control away with some fancy coding if you wish.

  • Facebook let's you decide whether you want to appear on search engines or not. For instance, you will not find me on Google, even if you enter my facebook username in google, simply because everything is and will be private on my facebook.

    What you would need is disable walled garden and inform your users of the new privacy settings. That's the best approach, letting the user decide what he wants to make public or not.

    Rodolfo Hernandez

    Arvixe/Elgg Community Liaison

  • Dear people. I am a bit confused... I have always considered facebook as a walled garden because you can not browse the contents without logging in (whereas Elgg in non-walledgarden mode allows it). Do you not agree?

    I know that when you have pointers (like google indexed pages), you can view that page but it will not take long before facebook asks for login credentials. These make me think of facebook being a walled garden but still allow indexing for content with public privacy setting.



  • perhaps you could label facebook as a walled garden with windows and small holes to poke your hand through. lol
    technically a walled garden allows no in-depth access without logging in - which facebook does not presently do.. though that was how it was originally (as i recall).

    as an aside, i notice that elgg would be slightly more user friendly to redirect visitors to sign-up or specific notification page when they attempt to view a page that they do not have view 'rights' available presently - instead of the popup message.