#StackBounty: #seo #user-generated-content How to exclude or tag user-generated content that shares hostname with first-party site

Bounty: 50

I’m running an SaaS application example.com, which in addition to its landing pages has several pages of "first party" content, for example:

  • example.com/features
  • example.com/pricing
  • example.com/support

Once a customer signs up, the design of the application is that they get to name & use a subpath, where they manage custom content. For example:

  • example.com/joes-place
  • example.com/bobs-place

For a real world example of this pattern, look at GitHub: You sign up and then get github.com/:username.

Challenge: I’m looking for best practices to clearly distinguish first party content (like /pricing) from third-party content (like /joes-place), when it comes to search and SEO. Specifically:

  • Google has occasionally decided to auto-onebox customers like /joes-place; I’d like it to not do that.
  • I want search engines to keep crawling third-party content, since it’s important to the customers that they show up in search.
  • For vanity/aesthetic reasons, I cannot move third party content to its own domain (e.g. I want to keep doing what github does).

So far what I’ve done:

  • First party & customer content use different Google Analytics accounts
  • First party content is in sitemap.xml, customer content isn’t mentioned at all.

Are there other best practices I should be following here?

Get this bounty!!!

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