When you should discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website
December 16. 2019
The topmost objective of your website is to be optimized in a way where it increases the chance of you ranking in the top results. Why? Because, regardless of what business you are in – you need traffic on your website. This means that you want people to visit your website, spend time on it, go through the content and ultimately wish to purchase your product or service. If nobody is visiting your website, the chances of this happening are slim to none. This is why you optimize your website in a way where it will be on top of all search results. You can achieve this through many different techniques. So, why would you ever discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website?
What does this even mean? As soon as you discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website, you effectively remove the chances of your website being crawled and listed anywhere in your search results. Still, there has to be a logical reason for this, right? Right! Within this blog, we will explore the most common reasons to discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website. And don’t worry if you never heard of this. We are all here to learn using WordPress the best we can!
There are quite a few, and they all bring a lot of value to your website, believe it or not.
Why would you discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website?
There are several reasons you would want to achieve this. Most commonly this is not the case, you wish to have as much traffic as you can. But, in a scenario where you do need this – it will come most handy!
When you have ‘under maintenance’ or ‘coming soon’ pages
This is a great reason to discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website. One of the few occasions where you do not wish for people to visit your website is when it is actually down. Since there is nothing to see on your website, there is no reason for people to visit it. Furthermore, once the page is actually up and running, the indexing will bring no value at this stage if it was discouraged when under maintenance.
To put it simply, when a building is under construction it is uninhabitable. The same goes for your website or page. If it is under maintenance or construction, there is no point in building traffic on it. Don’t forget to use some cool ‘coming soon’ themes if you’re already at it! However, the best option for SEO is to use a staging website instead of using a coming soon theme or having your live website under maintenance. Google bots may visit your website when it is down and this can hurt your positions.
When you bring up a clone website
There are times when you need to clone your existing website in order to test elements and develop new things. This is the so-called ‘safe environment’, where you can test stuff without having to bring down your actual website. This is the absolute best way to go when developing new things. However, it is very important for you to remember to discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website.
There are several reasons to discourage them when it comes to your clone website. The first and foremost reason is the fact that your clone website serves no purpose in generating traffic on your primary website. The main and only purpose of the clone website is to test things and develop new things that would later get inserted into the original website. For this reason, you need no traffic on the clone website. If you are lost within this concept, we are certain some of our services would be of assistance!
This is why it is important to discourage search engines because there is a threat that your cloned website might start competing with the original website. This way you would be a negative competition for yourself. On the other hand, Google might realize that this is a clone website, but it might not be able to tell which is the original and which one is cloned. This is why you might have to clone the website listed in the search rankings, instead of the original.
To be on the safe side, discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website on your clone, and your original will remain where it should be whilst you conduct your development on the clone.
The content you wish not to share
This is most common for pages on your website that include very valuable offers. There are competitors that might want to ‘steal’ your products and valuable offers and place them on their website.
This does not mean you need not to have these pages, as they are essential to your business. However, what you can do to be safer is to make sure that you discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website for these pages specifically, and prevent them from being shown publicly.
Sharing and posting internal information (project management)
If you are running a large team (or several large teams) it can become a little messy to track multiple project progress. This is why companies sometimes raise pages that are used simply to track progress on projects. The most important thing about these pages is that they are non-indexed, and remain hidden from Google’s crawlers. It will only remain available to team members to search for and access the pages/websites.
You never want anyone to be able to see how you track your projects. This goes especially since they could end up hosting sensitive client information that you are never allowed to disclose.
The most common reasons to discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website
These were some examples of the most common reasons to discourage search engines from indexing your WordPress Website. There are other reasons, such as when you are hosting personal content you do not wish for others to see, but they are far less frequent.
Apply the logic from the above-mentioned examples and think of other reasons to do the same. And don’t worry, this is not a hidden costly feature of WordPress. It is just a feature you need to be aware of!
Hope this helped!