WordPress noindex / nofollow problem solved


Last week I noticed my precious little blog posts, which have been nicely indexed by Google, were dropping out of the index like flies. Of course I should have checked the source code but it took Aaron’s note today to make me realize the blog was placing a noindex/nofollow everywhere, making it impossible to get indexed.

Appears this also happened to the illustrious Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame, and there I learned to flip the “privacy” feature back to allow searches in.

To fix the WordPress NOINDEX NOFOLLOW problem click DASHBOARD > OPTIONS > PRIVACY and select to allow search engines.

I’m still a bit concerned that somebody may have done this maliciously, but never attribute to malice that which can be reasonably attributed to stupidity (or some bug in the system).

Anyway, who would stoop so low? Duck hunters?

About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
This entry was posted in blogs, search, SEO, Websites. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to WordPress noindex / nofollow problem solved

  1. nhggfu says:

    thanks for this, I wondered why my site dropped off G and couldnt find the setting for this at 1st glance

  2. Rob says:

    Thanks a lot for this post. You helped me out big-time!!

  3. FoolsGold says:

    I’ve never understood this no-follow-link stuff. I understand that even a no-follow link is “valuable” to a search spider in reaching further sites and that is one reason why ‘comment spam’ is valuable to the spammer.

    I think it highly admirable that you do not instantly decide on some sort of malicious conspiracy when it may just be a simple bug. I guess making a record of all the settings and comparing them from time to time might be wise just to see if the differences are significant or not.

  4. I had the exact same problem! I was wondering and wondering why on earth Google is not indexing my site. In two weeks my daily hits went from over 1000 to 6 per day.

    The funny thing is, I do not remember tweaking that setting… :/ I guess must have been really, really tired when doing it.

    Anyways, thanks a bunch!

  5. GoDaddy hosted sites BEWARE! I was setting up a client with a blog about auto warranties and on Dreamhost, the privacy setting is defaulted to “off” when using the One Click install, but on GoDaddy it is defaulted to “on”, so nothing will be indexed!

  6. Arrow SEO says:

    Thank you so much, been pulling my hair all week. I’ve check the settings for the SEO plugins but no avail. Almost gone bald. Thanks so much!!!!

  7. Abhishek says:

    Useful post….Many of us commit this mistake. There is a wordpress plugin on same called ultimate no follow noindex(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ultimate-noindex-nofollow-tool/).Do you think that is useful?How should we configure it to get best results?

  8. Thanks for the information. For those of you running WP 2.8.x IT is now Dashboard-> Settings -> Privacy -> “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers” -> Save Changes

  9. Thank you. That was extremely helpful to me. It appears that by default WordPress is set to add no follow to every page, unless perhaps one of my plugins did it.

  10. Mehul says:

    Thanks for your help,

  11. Jason says:

    Thanks! What makes this problem harder to solve than it should be, is that if the non-searchable option is selected by default (or by some bug or some evil host), then if you run a robots.txt validator on your site to try and see if that’s the problem, it will tell you that robots.txt EXISTS and is set to ‘nofollow.’ And then you can spend HOURS trying to find this robots.txt file…which does not exist.

  12. domain says:

    Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no back up.

    Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

Leave a Reply to Andre T. Fraser Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s