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That's still deception. Seems obvious to me that the reason search engines would penalize sites that put up real data behind firewalls is because users don't want to see them in their search results. To show search engines different data to circumvent this is deceptive.

But the data IS there. That is not deceptive.

Are you saying that if your content is in Google's database it's required to be free? As a site owner, I have the right to decide whether or not my data is available for free, but it is there, and you should know it's there, so I have to somehow get found in search engines.

Think of it this way. You search for an image in Google - you are presented with sites that sell licenses to stock photos. Is this any different?

Showing different things to search engines and users is deceptive. You're misrepresenting yourself to the search engine.

I want search engines to penalize sites that put content behind firewalls, because those sites are less relevant to me. If the site is good enough to overcome that penalty because the content is so good that it gets enough google juice anyway, awesome. But they should still be penalized for hiding stuff behind the paywall.

It's not a moral judgment on paywalling content, it's a practical one. As a search engine user, I don't want Google to show me paywall stuff unless it's really, really good. So Google is making the appropriate ranking by penalizing paywalled content. But if you trick Google by showing googlebot something that you don't show users, that's obviously deceptive. Which I will make a moral judgment on.

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