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Currently, EU Publishers Cant Block US Users Without Blocking Google

There is currently no safe mechanism for European publishers, or any publishers outside of the US, to block US based users and also not block Googlebot or Google from your site. Google crawls from the US and if you block US users, you would also have to block Googlebot to not implement cloaking which is against Google’s webmaster guidelines.

SEO manager, Esben Rasmussen, asked Google’s John Mueller if there is a way to accomplish this because there are ways to do this if you are a US publisher. He asked “So US media can geoblock EU users (GDPR excuse) and still get content crawled by Google (from the US). How would an EU media do this for US user and get their content crawled by Google (from the US) – without seen as cloaking?”

John Mueller of Google responded saying “Yes, that’s not possible at the moment. Do you have a specific situation in mind?”

The specific case he was interested in was an “upcoming bike tour related content which due to limits in sponsor agreement is not allowed to be shown to users outside of EU – but still highly relevant for users within to find to be able to find due to popularity.”

I mean, maybe one day Google will crawl from outside the US but I don’t think this would solve the issue. Google needs some sort of other mechanism for this.

Gianluca Fiorelli added more reasons why this might be important:

I suspect some of you, espesially those who run sites outside of the US, think this is important?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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