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Why have WordPress defaulted to the privacy option?

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I’ve set up and managed quite a few self-hosted WordPress sites over the past year or so and have been impressed how quickly they have been indexed. However, I’ve noticed that a couple of my sites were not appearing in Google, even after I’d posted several quality articles. It wasn’t until doing a little housekeeping on one of the sites that I noticed that the option for indexing in the search engines had somehow defaulted to “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors”. Ok, I thought, obviously a mistake on my part so I corrected the settings and the site was indexed almost immediately. Perplexed by this I checked a couple of my other brand new sites, and again, the default setting was to block the search engines from finding the site…..I then set up a brand new site from scratch and the default was in place from the start so I knew it wasn’t something I had done.

I can’t for the life of me understand why WordPress would put this option in place when surely most people actively want their site to be found? The wording they use on the different options really doesn’t help either – “I would like to block search engines but allow normal visitors“? What exactly is a normal visitor – someone who finds your site because they were looking to read something you spent hours writing? How are they going to find that article if the site isn’t being indexed in Google, Yahoo or Bing? How are you going to promote your service or product, or latest recipe or the photos from your round the world cruise or your thoughts on Cheryl Cole’s latest marriage shenanigans if your site isn’t even listed in the search engines!!??

Anyway, there’s an easy way to check which option you have. Go into Settings > Privacy and update if the current option is to block search engines.

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Discussion

  1. Menol  April 14, 2010

    Thanks for sharing this Carla. I did not know about this setting before.

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