Shout-out to Svetoslav Petkov, Mirko Obkircher, and Tech Business News for pointing out a few omissions, which I've since added into the article.

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Thank you for this information. I was wondering - would you know what sort of paywall model Substack employs and what effect its usage has on traffic and SEO?

Eg. if I turn on the pay option on my newsletter and lock part of an article's content behind a paywall, it would be a content-locked paywall with lead-in content, is that correct? In such a case, would the paywalled part of the article be completely inaccessible to Google?

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This is an interesting article, thanks.

I have reservations about forcing the round peg of paywalled content into the SEO square.

I'm scratching my head for reasons to make any single piece of content do the job of attraction, of conversion, and also be the "product" for paying subscribers. The way that new readers find you, what cajoles them into signing up, and what you give them in return for purchase are all different kinds of content which can and ought to be targeted for that purpose.

And of course any optimization brings trade-offs. If I want it to get found and shared, I'm probably not paywalling that article. If I want to encourage readers to opt in, I might paywall it if the unlock is their incentive. If it's for paying members only, I'm not worried about it ranking. That's not its job. This all depends a great deal on the journey of the reader or searcher as well. What they know about you and your product/service (even if that's just your brand) will affect how they respond.

I know other people have their own business models and think about this differently, but I'm having trouble seeing a use-case where I'd worry about a paywalled article not ranking well. It seems like worrying about a paid course or membership offer not ranking well.

Well, yeah. I'm directing my "warm" and "hot" traffic to that, not trying to funnel "cold" traffic from Google searches. The cold reader need a different entry point and introduction. That's not why the paywalled stuff is there, and I'd just assume have it hidden from Google's peeping eyes anyway.

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