What to Do If You Accidentally clicked “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.”
It’s easy to do. Maybe you were moving from a development area to a live environment? Maybe you hired a WordPress “expert” who had no idea what he was doing? Maybe you just forgot to uncheck the box after your site was all set up? In any case, if you find yourself in a position where Google has not indexed your site or has started to de-index your site because of this WordPress setting, then this is the post for you. Read on!
- Publish new content on your site – New content gives Google something new to add to it’s index on your site and as they crawl this page, they sometimes will crawl through to other pages and re-add them to their index also. By default, WordPress automatically notifies a few update services that you have new content. These Update Services often publish links to blog content from thousands and thousands of blogs and Google crawls them frequently which increases your changes of Google crawling your new post and possibly other pages on your site along with it. (Read more about WordPress’s Update Services here.) You can edit these by going to Settings > Writing and again scroll down to the bottom where you will see this. Here is where you can add more services.
- Submit your site and/or individual pages on the site to blog search engines, bookmarking sites, and other such sites. Doing so should help your pages get “found” again by Google. This works great even if you don’t have new content to add to your site right away. You can manually go ping-o-matic and submit your site. Also, while not as popular as they used to be, bookmarking services such as Delicious allow users to post and share links on the web. This gives you the opportunity to link to and share your posts and pages in the hopes that Google will find them and revisit your site.
- Link to your pages from other websites. If you have friends with sites and/or any connections to industry blogs, online magazines, or any other site, offering to write an article for them that links back to your site, particularly to pages that have been de-indexed, can help Google find them again.