Google explains how to hide a website from search results.

Google explains how to hide a website from search results: –

  • Google goes over three ways a website can be hidden from search results, and they should be used depending on the situation.
  • Google is one of the best ways to hide a website from search results with a password, but there are other options that can be considered.
  • This topic is featured in the latest instalment of the Ask Googlebot YouTube video series.

There are three ways to hide a website from search results:

  • Use a password
  • Tracking lock
  • Block indexing
  • Websites can choose not to be fully indexed or they can be indexed and hidden from Googlebot by using a password.
  • Blocking content from Googlebot is not against webmaster guidelines, as long as it is blocked from users at the same time.
  • For example, if the site is password protected when crawled by Googlebot, it must also be password protected for users.
  • Alternatively, the site must have directives to prevent Googlebot from crawling or indexing the site.
  • Where one can have problems is if the website offers different content to the Googlebot than to the users.
  • This is called a “cover-up” and it is against Google guidelines.
  • With that distinction made, these are the correct ways to hide content from search engines.

3 ways to hide content from search engines

1. Password protection:

  • Locking a website with a password is often the best approach is to keep the site private.
  • A password will ensure that neither search engines nor random web users can see your content.
  • This is a common practice for developing websites. Publishing the website live is an easy way to share the work in progress with clients, while also preventing Google from accessing a website that is not yet ready to be seen.

2. Tracking lock:

  • Another way to prevent the Googlebot from accessing the site is by blocking crawling.
  • This is done with the robots.txt file.
  • With this method, people can access the site with a direct link, but it will not be detected by search engines that are “well behaved”.

3. Block indexing:

  • The third and final option is to block website indexing.
  • Add a noindex robots meta tag to pages.
  • A noindex tag tells search engines not to index that page until after they crawl it.
  • Users don’t see the meta tag and can still access the page normally.

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