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How Did Google Find My Blog?

Back in the day, when you launched a blog, you had to go out and tell the world you just posted something on your blog by using a ping service like PingOMatic. Today, platforms such as WordPress have these ping services built in to them.

The upside is that all you need to do is write and the ping services will be alerted and your content will make its way into cyberspace. But, what if you aren’t ready for the world to see your masterpiece? This actually came up the other day as I was working with a friend on his blog. He got a comment from someone he used to know (ok, date) who said she just found him. Now this is a whole different blog post, but my first comment was that she could not have found him unless she was looking for him. Unfortunately, romance was not in the air, but as I was driving down the road I began to think about what had happened(yes, sadly, I think about this stuff ALL the time). I know my friend had not intentionally sent any traffic to his blog because he was working it and wasn’t ready to have anyone see it yet. Then a light went off… “those dang ping services”. When you want them to find you, they don’t and when you want them to not find you, there they are telling everyone that you aren’t ready for business.

So how does one stop this from happening while you are building your blog?

1. Remove all ping services from your blog. In WordPress, here is how you would find them:

Options >> Writing >> Ping Services (at the bottom of the page)

2. Using a Robots.txt file to disallow all search engines. This would essentially block the search engines from indexing the site.

3. For advanced users ONLY. Edit the Robots META tag in your Blogs source code. WARNING: If you don’t what you are doing, messing with source code can take your blog down and you may not be able to recover it (especially if you don’t know what you did to take it down). Coding is precise, adding or omitting one little character can have a dramatic effect on the outcome.

I hope that is helpful.

Happy Blogging!

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8 Responses to “How Did Google Find My Blog?”

  • You can also go to Settings > Privacy > and choose “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors.” This results in meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow”, instructing search engines not to index or follow links to what it finds on the page. It can take a little time for previously cache’d pages to drop out of the index, and you may need an inlink for Search Engine spiders to follow to nudge indexing if you go back to allowing spiders to do their work.

    This will also turn off pings, and if you don’t already have a robots.txt file, will also create a robots.txt that disallows user-agents.

    Just remember that only “good” spiders obey. 😉

  • oldschool:

    Now Elizabeth, that just makes things too easy 🙂

    Thanks for that insight. It certainly is a much more smooth approach than my “Old School” methodology. I guess the hacker in me always wants to muck with code when there is a simple solution.

    I didn’t realize all that the privacy feature did behind the scenes.

    So there you have it folks, just make sure you do that before your first post.


  • Thanks!

    Privacy settings are my first question to those who want to know why their blog isn’t getting indexed. Sometimes they get set and forgotten.

    The codex says this only works if WP is installed @root, and I haven’t investigated the specifics completely, though I do know that the metas still get written. There will always still be a use for hands-on knowledge, at least to make sure behavior is as hoped. 🙂

  • oldschool:

    @ Elizabeth – That is another good thing to point out as many people install blogs in a directory (i.e. /blog) rather than the root level. For those, the info provided in the blog post will be helpful. It is always good to know what the end result is so you can improvise (i.e. hack the code) when needed.

  • marco:

    I’m also considering using a specialized copywriting softwared called Glyphius. Has anyone had any experience with this? It is supposed to use statistical analysis to optimize the wording of your advertising copy. I’d be interested in hearing any feedback, good or bad. Thanks

  • oldschool:

    @Marco – I have not used it, but Brian Clark at Copyblogger (a respected and trusted blog) did a review on it:

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Good post.

    All I have to do now if figure out how the search engines find my sites when I want them to. If I can consistently do that then I’ll be a happy man

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