Access Decision Tags - Confused About How to Use Them

I've read about the use of Access Decision Tags, but I am confused about how, exactly, to use them to protect content for a course.


I have several courses on my site. Currently I protect access to the content using the Grant Access function on the content edit page. I just click the applicable course (bundle) from the drop-down menu. And then anyone who has purchased that course can access that page and anyone who has NOT bought it will get redirected to that error page.


But Google seems to hate this, calling them Soft 404s. So I was advised to try the Decision Tags instead.


Here is what I don't get. It seems like these tags do not specify a Bundle. So how does it know when  person has purchased the Bundle that matches THAT page? I am not seeing anything in the documentation that allows me to restrict access to the content to ONLY people who bought THAT particular bundle. What am I missing?


Thanks!

Hi Ken,


So the Access Decision SmartTag works together with the Grant Access section in the right column of the Page/Post Editor.  Basically, it changes the behavior of MemberMouse in the event that visitors with or without access visit a given page. The important thing to remember about SmartTags is that they do not display themselves, but they control whether or not whatever is between them is displayed.


Let's go through a couple examples. 


Let's say you have a bundle called "Magic Tricks" and you grant access to this Bundle on a page called "Rabbit and Hat." For the time being, let's say that access is granted on day zero (immediately) and the page has the content below, between the two horizontal lines:


--------------------------------

RABBIT AND HAT TRICK

  1. Remove hat and turn upside down
  2. Tap hat with wand
  3. Reach in, and pull out rabbit

<Picture of a Bunny Rabbit>

--------------------------------


This is what happens normally:

  • A member with the Magic Tricks bundle visits "Rabbit and Hat". They can see the trick, with the bunny picture underneath.
  • A member without the Magic Tricks bundle visits "Rabbit and Hat". They are redirected to the error page. Google Hates This!

So, let's start using the Access Decision SmartTag on the page. We're going to leave the Grant Access section unchanged; so it reads: "Magic Tricks" on Day 0. We will modify the page content as follows:


--------------------------------

[MM_Access_Decision access='false']

This is a great magic trick involving a Rabbit and a Hat. Buy my Magic Tricks to see it!

[/MM_Access_Decision]

[MM_Access_Decision access='true']

RABBIT AND HAT TRICK

  1. Remove hat and turn upside down
  2. Tap hat with wand
  3. Reach in, and pull out rabbit

[/MM_Access_Decision]

<Picture of a Bunny Rabbit>

-------------------------------- 


Now, the same two members visit this page:

  • A member with the Magic Tricks bundle visits "Rabbit and Hat". They can see the trick, with the bunny picture underneath. 
  • A member without the Magic Tricks bundle visits "Rabbit and Hat". They can see the message inviting them to purchase, with the picture of the bunny underneath.


Here's a few final notes and observations:

  • What you must have purchased to see the content is still defined by Grant Access in the right-hand column, not in the SmartTag itself
  • If you do not have the required access, you see different content, but you are not redirected to the error page. Google is Happy!
  • <Picture of a Bunny Rabbit> is outside of both the 'true' and 'false' SmartTag blocks, so everyone can see it
  • Although Google can't see your magic trick, it can index your site: it knows the page has to do with Rabbits, Hats, Magic, and Tricks, because it can see the 'false' SmartTag block


I hope this helps you use the Access Decision SmartTag.


Thanks,


John


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