In the past few days I have run across two blogs of people I know who had mistakenly told Google and all of the other search engines “please stop visiting me, don’t tell anyone else about me and for that matter, don’t even take a look at anyone else I have linked to on my website.”
How did they do that? Why did they do that? Should you do that? Read on for more!
Does Google See You?
Even if you blog for the love of writing and you don’t care at all about making money through a second income online you should care about this topic. Writers want readers, right? If your website is not in the search engines index then when people search for “purple mushrooms” your blog ilovepurplemushrooms.com is not going to be presented to them. As a writer you want people who are interested in your topic to find you.
Here is a simple way to make sure that Google can see you. If Google sees you then the other search engines will see you too – but let’s face it, as of right now it is most important that you are in Google’s index.
Use the following search in Google, replacing MYWEBSITE with the name of your blog:
So for example for this website the search would look like this: site: www.secondaryincomeblog.com
It should work whether you add the www. or not. In fact, if your results are different in that case then you have another problem which I will write about some other time!
Were all the pages in your blog returned? Then you are good! In my friends’ cases only 1 page was returned – the main page. That is because Google is smart enough to know that there is something there because you referred to it by URL, not because it knows anything about the page.
If only the main page returned in your query then you need to read on to learn more about what happened and how to fix it.
The Robots tag
The HTML code that makes up your website includes a number of special terms that instruct search engines how to behave when visiting the website. One such term is The Robots tag. Here is an example of how this tag might look:
And in the fact, that is exactly how it looked on my friends’ sites. In a nutshell, what that is saying is what I said in the opening paragraph of this article: GOOGLE STAY AWAY! You can read more about this tag at the Web Robots Pages.
I believe in both cases the reason for including this tag was a misunderstanding between it and the “rel=nofollow” tag. The former is used to hide entire pages (and should be used sparingly, not across the entire site) and the latter is used for a specific link where you are telling Google not to follow that one link only. For the vast majority of people, this is the one you want to use.
If you have identified that your blog has this problem and you have fixed it by removing that tag from the section of your HTML code, then You may be wondering what to do for it , Google finds you. In my opinion, the answer is simple:
Make sure you have a Sitemap
Write new content
Update old content
While it certainly is a bummer that you had this problem it is easily rectified through the passage of time. Remove the offending code and eventually the search engines will love you again and new readers will be pouring into your blog.
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