When to Hide Your WordPress Site from Google

One of the advantages of building your website with WordPress.com is that Google is automatically notified whenever you update a post or page. But what if you don’t want your website to be listed in search engine results? For this reason, it’s possible to hide your WordPress site from Google to prevent your pages from being shared with the public.

How does Google index websites?

Google reports that crawling (the process of finding new or updated pages) is one way to gather public web content to inform its search results. Since crawlers download pages, store them, and then use algorithms to sort and analyze them, it can take some time to index your site. Any updates that you make will trigger this process — unless you hide your website.

When is hiding your website a good idea?

There are a few reasons why you may want to hide your WordPress site from Google. Consider doing so if:

  • Your content is private. By preventing your site from being indexed by search engines, you can minimize the number of people who become aware of your content.
  • Your content changes frequently. You don’t want search engines ranking and sharing outdated content if their site crawlers are caching older pages.
  • Your website is under construction.

How to keep Google from indexing your site

If you’re creating a WordPress.com website from scratch, you still have time to hide it from search engine crawlers. By changing a single setting, you’ll have a no-index, no-follow WordPress website.

First, navigate to your website’s Settings in your My Sites control panel. Then, head to the Privacy section. There, you can set your website site as Public, Hidden, or Private.

WordPress.com Privacy Settings

Selecting Hidden will prevent Google from indexing your WordPress.com website while still keeping it accessible for people who are already aware of it — or those who click on links from other websites or social platforms. If you change your mind, you can switch your settings to Public at any time. For more details, head over to WordPress.com Support’s Privacy Settings section.

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Bridget M Burns

I live in a renovated barn with my husband, two kittens, and a baby on the way. I am currently building my business as a freelance writer, and stay busy finding new ways to promote my work online. In my free time, I enjoy reading, cooking, exploring, and late night games of Scrabble with friends.

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