Google explains how to hide a website from search results.

Google says that the best way to hide a website from search results is with a password, but there are other options that you can consider.

This topic has been featured in the latest episode of the Ask Googlebot video series on YouTube.

Google’s John Mueller answered a question about how to prevent content from being indexed in search, and whether websites are allowed to do so.

“In short, yes, you can,” says M مولller.

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

  • Use password.
  • Stop crawling.
  • Block indexing.

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Websites can either opt out of full indexing, or they may use passwords to index and hide content from Googlebot.

Blocking content from Googlebot is not against the webmaster guidelines, as long as it is blocked for users at the same time.

For example, if the site is password protected when crawling through Google bot, it should also be password protected for users.

Alternatively, the site should have instructions to prevent Google bot from crawling or indexing the site.

One of the areas where you might get into trouble is if your site provides different content to users than Google bot.

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This is called “cloaking” and is against Google’s guidelines.

With this difference, here are the right ways to hide content from search engines.

3 Ways to Hide Content from Search Engines

1. Password protection

If you want to keep your site private, closing a website with a password is often the best way.

A password will ensure that search engines or random web users will not see your content.

This is a common practice for developing websites. Publishing a website live is an easy way to share ongoing work with clients, while preventing Google from accessing a website that is not yet ready to be viewed.

2. Stop crawling.

Another way to prevent Googlebot from accessing your site is to stop crawling. This is done with the robots.txt file.

This way people can access your site with a direct link, but it will not be picked up by “well-behaved” search engines.

Mرller says this is not the best option, as search engines can still index a website’s address without access to the content.

This is rare, but it is a possibility you should be aware of.

3. Block indexing

The third and final option is to prevent your website from being indexed.

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To do this, you add noindex robots meta tags to your pages.

A noindex tag tells search engines not to index this page until then. after the They crawl it.

Users do not see the meta tag and still have normal access to the page.

M مولller’s last thoughts

M مولller summed up the video by saying that Google’s biggest recommendation is to go through the password path:

“Overall, for private content, we recommend using password protection. It’s easy to check that it’s working, and it prevents anyone from accessing your content.

When content is not private, blocking crawling or indexing is a good option. Or if there are parts of a website that you want to prevent from appearing in search. “

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Watch the full video below:


Featured Image: Screenshot by: YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, November 2021.

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