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?

12 thoughts on “WordPress noindex / nofollow problem solved

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

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