The biggest WordPress SEO mistake you can make

It has been incredible to watch WordPress grow since I started my blog ten years ago. When I first started I was actually on Typepad and then made the move over to WordPress when I realized that all the cool kids were doing it.

I also started out hosting my own WordPress sites then companies like WPEngine came along and made the whole process completely seamless. Still, there’s one little feature in WordPress that I still see plaguing new bloggers, and it’s just as hidden as it was ten years ago.

What I’m talking about is this little checkbox hidden away under Settings –> Reading:


Yes, that one little checkbox can decide whether your site is visible to the world or hidden from search engines. As you can imagine, telling WordPress that you want to “discourage search engines from indexing” your site means, take SEO and throw it out the window.

If you install a plugin like All In One SEO Pack (my personal favorite) it will give you a warning at the top of your dashboard in case you accidentally have this box checked. Either way, it’s a sneaky little option but it can mean a world of different if you have it checked, or not.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Eric Lyon February 19, 2017, 1:01 pm

    You made me have to double check because I didn’t remember what I set that at the other day fumbling in the dark at 2am with the settings. :p lol

  • Abdullah Prem February 20, 2017, 8:57 am

    Well Said morgan. I too did this mistake once and after some days I was wondering why my traffic suddenly decreased and Don’t know what was the problem actually.
    But later eventually I found that the box was checked and soon unchecked the box my traffic was almost came.

  • Joe February 20, 2017, 4:17 pm

    Thank you Morgan,

    Many changes in these months on my website, blog etc., since I have a lot of paperwork to put in order the two properties inherited from my mother and pay the taxes I finished tomorrow, and I needed an SEO plugin because the Yoast I do not see well though Is loved by many bloggers.

    This Thursday, February 23rd, I will announce that I have already been online to recover the money spent to put domains premium of three letters and a number from my web with escrow and to be registered etc.

    I hope you like it, I’ve done everything reading web and blog that continue as subscriber for years you learn a lot.

  • Matt February 22, 2017, 5:13 pm

    While a new site is in development, it can be a good idea to discourage search engines to index the site until it is ready for prime time. Just have to be sure you or your developer un-tic that box when the sites goes live. For sites built with HTML, encouraging or discouraging search engines is controlled by the robots text file on the server.

  • Sanjay Mishra September 19, 2020, 4:54 am

    It is really beneficial to me …. keep it up..

  • S Mishra September 19, 2020, 4:55 am

    It is such a wonderful blog. It’s so helpful. Thank you for share your knowledge.

  • Jagannath Barman September 19, 2020, 4:56 am

    Wow, every detail is absolute perfection! Love it!

  • J Barman September 19, 2020, 4:58 am

    Thank you for this awesome information. I’m new to blogging industry. Your Article is really useful for me.


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