The objective of starting a blog for many people is to have as much traffic as possible. For some, it would seem like a dream come true if Google indexes their content. It, therefore, begs us the question: why would anyone wish not to have their site indexed by any search engine?
Ross Barber, a top specialist of Semalt, defines here some reasons for stopping search engines from indexing your website and ways of performing that.
When starting out, and the blog is still relatively fresh, there is a high chance that you are working on the site and publishing the content from there. Moving forward, you may notice that the content you put up is not perfect and would not wish other people as it would negatively impact your credibility. The only solution you can think of is to remove the site from appearing in Google’s search results until you have honed your blogging skills, and are now ready for people to access your site. The following are a few methods on how to do this:
Step 1. Discourage Search Engines from Indexing WordPress
The idea behind this is to prevent the search engines from crawling the site in the first place. There are two methods that one can use:
Method 1: There is an inbuilt feature in WordPress which prevents search engines from crawling the site.
Open the Admin section in WordPress and select “Reading” from the settings area. In the “search engine visibility,” there is a checkbox which prompts the user to “Discourage search engines from indexing the site.” Once you check this box, click save and exit.
Method 2: If you prefer a more manual approach, editing the robots.txt is a better option for you.
Find the robots.txt in the website files which you can access through the file manager. Use the syntax (User-agent: *, Press Enter, and Disallow:/), to keep the search engines from crawling the site.
Step 2. Password Protection
Search engines and crawlers cannot access password-protected files on the site. Use the following methods to create passwords:
Method 1: Hosting services have a password protected directories tool feature which is quite simple to use. Hostinger and cPanel have quite similar processes.
Once in the hosting control panel, locate the icon with the option to protect a directory. On clicking on the buttons, a new window appears with a list of files, from which you select “public_html.” Click on the “protect” button, and exit.
Method 2: You can use a WordPress plugin such as WordFence, or Password Protect to achieve the same results. Make sure that it is up to date before installing it. After installation, create a password for the site, and everything will remain secure from crawling.
Step 3. Removing an Indexed Page from Google
There are times when Google indexes a site against the owner’s wishes. There is a way to reverse this, but it requires setting up a Google Search Console for the indexed site first. After deciding on the website you wish to have removed, head over to “Remove URLs” under the “Google Index” tab. In the empty box provided, enter the site’s URL and click on continue. Choose to temporary hide the page from crawling and then submit the request.
It does not matter what reasons you have to prevent search engines from crawling and indexing the information on your site. The steps provided will help you achieve exactly that. Some may not give the best results but serve the intended purpose.