Google offers three ways to hide websites from the search results and the best method to use according to your specific circumstances.
Google suggests that the most effective way to keep a website off search results is by using a password. However, it is possible to find other ways that you could think about. The subject is highlighted in the latest episode of the Ask Googlebot video series on YouTube.
Google’s John Mueller responds to greet about how to stop websites from being indexed in search results and if it’s something that websites are permitted to do.
“In short, yes, you can,” Mueller states.
There are three methods to block a website from the results of searches:
- Create a password
- Block crawling
- Block indexing
Websites can opt not to be indexed or index and block content from Googlebot with a password.
Restricting access to content via Googlebot isn’t in violation of webmaster guidelines as long as it’s not blocked to users simultaneously.
For instance, if a website is password-protected when being crawled by Googlebot, Users must also be password-protected.
In addition, the site should have a set of guidelines to prevent Googlebot from indexing or crawling the website.
The most common way to get into problems is when your site provides different information to Googlebot than its users.
It’s known as “cloaking” and is against Google’s policies.
In light of this distinction, there are the proper methods to hide the content of your website from search engines.
3 Methods To Hide Content From Search Engines
1. Password Protection
A website can be locked down using a password is usually the best choice when you wish to protect your website’s security.
A password ensures that the privacy of your content. Search engines and random internet users will be able to access your website’s content.
This is a typical procedure for websites that are in the process of developing. It is a great way to share work in progress with customers and prevent Google from accessing the site that’s not ready to be visible yet.
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2. Block Crawling
Another method to block Googlebot from accessing your website is to stop crawling. This can be done using your robots.txt file.
This method lets people browse your website via a quick link. However, it won’t be found in “well-behaved” search engines.
It’s not the best choice, Mueller says, because search engines could still index the URL of the site but not access the contents.
It’s scarce for that to occur; however, it’s something you need to be aware of.
3. Block Indexing
The third and last alternative is to stop your site from being indexed.
To do this, you must apply a noindex meta tag to your web pages.
A no-index tag informs that search engines do not index the webpage up to after they’ve crawled it.
The users don’t see the meta tag but can access the page as usual.