How to Find Hidden Pages on a Website?

Knowledge Base > SEO > How to Find Hidden Pages on a Website?

Finding hidden pages on a website can be useful for a number of reasons, such as identifying security vulnerabilities, locating content that is not easily accessible from the main navigation, or uncovering potential issues with website architecture or user experience. In this guide, we will cover some methods for finding hidden pages on a website.

Use a Website Crawler

A website crawler, also known as a spider or bot, is a tool that automatically scans a website and follows links to discover all of its pages. There are many website crawlers available, including free tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog, as well as paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush. These tools can be used to identify pages that may not be easily discoverable through the main navigation or site map.

Check the Website’s Sitemap

Most websites have a sitemap that lists all of the pages on the site. This can be a useful tool for identifying pages that may not be easily accessible from the main navigation. To find a website’s sitemap, look for a link in the footer or in the robots.txt file.

Use Google Search Operators

Google search operators are special commands that allow you to refine your search and find specific information. By using and inurl:keywords, you can search for specific keywords within a website’s domain or URL. For example, if you wanted to find all pages on a website that contained the keyword “privacy policy”, you could use the search operator “ inurl:privacy-policy”.

Use Website Hacking Tools

Note that using website hacking tools without permission is illegal and can result in serious consequences. However, if you have permission to do so, there are tools like Burp Suite and OWASP ZAP that can be used to scan a website and identify hidden pages or vulnerabilities in the site’s architecture.

Sometimes, a website will have hidden links that are not visible to the user, but can be found through the page’s HTML source code. To view a website’s HTML source code, right-click on the page and select “View Page Source” or “Inspect”. Look for any links that may not be visible on the page, but are still present in the code.

Look for Hidden Directories

Many websites have hidden directories that are not easily discoverable through the main navigation or site map. These directories may contain content that is not meant to be easily accessible to the public, such as internal documentation or test pages. To find hidden directories, try adding common directory names to the website’s URL, such as /admin or /test.

Check for robots.txt

The robots.txt file is a file that tells search engine crawlers which pages on a website they can and cannot crawl. Sometimes, websites will use robots.txt to hide certain pages from search engine crawlers, which can also make these pages difficult to find. To check if a website has a robots.txt file, add /robots.txt to the end of the website’s URL.

In conclusion, manually finding hidden pages on a website can be challenging, but it is possible through techniques such as checking for hidden links, looking for hidden directories, checking for robots.txt, and using Google search operators. However, these methods may not be as effective as using website crawlers or other automated tools to find hidden pages.

Useful Links:

  1. SEOptimer
  2. Link-Assistant

Common Questions

  • What are hidden pages for SEO?

    Hidden pages for SEO are web pages that are not visible to website visitors, but can be seen by search engines. These pages are created to manipulate search engine rankings by including hidden keywords and links that are not relevant to the website content.

    Hidden pages for SEO are considered a black hat SEO technique and can result in penalties or a loss of rankings from search engines.

  • Do hidden pages affect SEO?

    Yes, hidden pages can affect SEO by manipulating search engine rankings and violating search engine guidelines, which can result in penalties or a loss of rankings from search engines.

  • How do you unhide content on a website?

    To unhide content on a website, you can remove the CSS or JavaScript that is hiding the content or adjust the settings of any plugins or website builders that may be hiding the content.