Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Code Prevented Website from Indexing in Google

After examining a website for a client at the beginning of SEO analysis, I found they were completely absent from indexing in Google—even for their business name.

After looking at their code, I noticed they had code that told the search engine spiders to ignore their website.

I spoke with the owner of the business and he is not sure if his old webmaster left that in by mistake after development or if he put it in after the fact when they had a falling out.

Another possibility is that a competitor had someone hack into their website to add this code. Here is the code and the explanations for the three items in their robots meta tag.

all three are designed to prevent any access to your site - David
Using meta tags to block access to your site
To entirely prevent a page's contents from being listed in the Google web index even if other sites link to it, use a noindex meta tag. As long as Googlebot fetches the page, it will see the noindex meta tag and prevent that page from showing up in the web index.

The noindex meta standard is described at This method is useful if you don't have root access to your server, as it allows you to control access to your site on a page-by-page basis.

To prevent all robots from indexing a page on your site, place the following meta tag into the section of your page:

meta name="robots" content="noindex"

next to the noindex in your 4th line of code is the code "noodp" see what this does:

Prevent search engines from displaying DMOZ data in search results for your site

To prevent all search engines (that support the meta tag) from using this information for the page's description, use the following:

meta name="robots" content="NOODP"

To specifically prevent Google from using this information for a page's description, use the following:

meta name="googlebot" content="NOODP"

If you use the robots meta tag for other directives, you can combine those. For instance:

meta name="googlebot" content="NOODP, nofollow"

Sometimes, if you are listed in DMOZ (ODP), the search engines will display snippets of text about your site taken from them instead of your description meta tag.

You can force the search engine to ignore the ODP information by including a robots meta tag like this meta name="robots" content="noodp"

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