The odds are pretty good that you’ve come across the Experts Exchange site while trying to troubleshoot some sort of problem. You probably got frustrated when you noticed that the question being asked was visible, but you couldn’t find the answers without registering first. That may not be a big deal if registering was free, but they actually charge $13 a month to get an account.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay just to see the answers. Experts Exchange obviously wants search engines to be able to see both the question and answers so that they can get a better ranking. Google, for example, forbids that a site show different content to their crawler than what the user sees. So Experts Exchange had to figure out a workaround.
What they ended up doing is checking to see if a user is coming from a search engine like Google using referrer information provided by your browser. If that’s the case the solutions are indeed displayed on the page, but you just have to scroll all the way down to see them. Here’s what I’m talking about…
You’ll see the question just as you’d expect:
If you scroll a little farther you should see the hidden answers/solutions, followed by a long list of categories:
After you scroll past the categories you should see all of the answers/solutions:
Now there’s a catch. If you try linking directly to an article you won’t see the solutions. Experts Exchange is specifically looking for the referral information in your browser to ensure that you’re coming from a search engine. That’s why this will work if you click the first link in these Google search results, but won’t if you try to jump directly to the article by clicking this link. Similarly this won’t work if your browser is set to hide the referrer information from websites.
So there you have it. You can view the answers from Experts Exchange without needing to register, and you don’t have to try to use a cached version of the page.
Thanks to Michael and Cory for giving me the idea to write this article!