Wordpress Installation Now Blocking Search Engines?

Jan 22, 2008 • 6:53 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread reports that new installations of the popular blogging software, WordPress, is by default blocking all search engines.

He said, when you go to the Privacy Options section in the administration panel, by default, it is set to block all search engine robots from crawling the blog. He said, by default, this option is selected:

I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors

At one point, Google's Blogger blocked spiders by default as well. I am not sure if Google's Blogger still does, but it did at one point.

There has not been any confirmation made if others have noticing that clean, new installs of WordPress block spiders by default. But there is at least one person reporting so.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: January 21, 2008



01/22/2008 02:35 pm

Actually wordpress gives you the option at the time of install. Sounds like this user missed the option.


01/23/2008 05:06 am

The option iis hardcoded to 1 in the install as can be seen in this line:- add_option('blog_public', '1'); (of course it is posible you can set it during install so sunny is most likely correct). blog_public is the option in question and 1 is the setting to make it public.


01/23/2008 08:57 am

I would check the options anyway cause the block really works!!!


01/23/2008 10:32 am

If you visit the codex and look at the installation screen, you can see that the checkbox for this option is set to YES by default. So this guy is wrong in that fresh installations of WordPress are set to block search engines by default.


01/23/2008 12:01 pm

I never knew that, is that for wordpress hosted sites only or is does that include all the downloaded blog scripts that we install and host on our own sites? I would like to know as I have 3 wordpress blogs hosted on our own servers.

No Name

01/23/2008 02:16 pm

This will work against those who are not familiar with search engines and SEO stuff. I wonder why Wordpress makers had to do that.

Teli Adlam

01/23/2008 03:53 pm

Before anyone gets the wrong idea about WordPress, it's important to understand that it's Open Source GNU software. Basically, it means that anyone can alter what its set to do by default. For a fresh install from a clean package downloaded from wordpress.org, <em>search engines are not blocked by default</em>. You are given the option during the installation and, in fact, you would need to actually select the option to block search engines. When using an outside service to install WordPress, it <em>may not be a clean and default installation</em>. For instance, 1 and 1 customizes their WordPress 1-click install, as does Dreamhost. So, that's something to bear in mind. Before assuming it's the software or script producing the behaviour, do a little legwork to find out for sure. Especially in the cases of Open Source GNU scripts which can freely be altered. ~ Teli


01/23/2008 04:42 pm

Been a known issue for quite sometime. Like 2 months now.


01/23/2008 07:03 pm

ever heard of SEO plugins

Kevin Dykes

01/23/2008 10:10 pm

Thanks for pointing this out - I caught the same setting issue on 4 blogs we manage for clients. My own were fine, but these were setup by someone else, so not sure if it was by default or modified before I took over management of them for clients. Whatever the case, it sure was busting my butt that I couldn't get these blogs to push in rankings, despite other SEO plugins, etc. Nice catch!


01/23/2008 11:12 pm

I remember when I was setting up my blog in November that I had to change the default radio button to allow the search engines. A friend of mine who had a blog helped me set up mine. So glad I noticed the default was not allowing search engines and mentioned it to her.

Lin Ennis

01/24/2008 01:56 pm

Always a good idea to pay attention to the details. And nice someone brought it up for those who didn't notice it. Teli's post is right on. Listen up, peeps.

blog comments powered by Disqus