The latest version of WordPress is out, and with it come a few changes. One of the changes is in the location of Privacy settings – whether you want to allow search engines to find your site through crawling or indexing your web pages.
If you are developing your WordPress site and don’t want it showing up in search engine results, the WordPress team thoughtfully added a setting for site privacy. You get to decide this when you first install your self-hosted site, but you can change the setting after the fact. Prior to version 3.5, you would find this under the Settings menu on the left-hand side of your admin panel. It had it’s own place as a sub-menu item and clicking it took you to a page with this on it:
WordPress 3.5 has taken this menu item off and moved it over to the Settings > Reading page, where the wording and options have changed:
No longer are you ‘allowing’ search engines to index your site or not through a radio button selection, but rather ‘discouraging’ them with a checkbox. To site owners it means the same thing, but it does acknowledge the success of WordPress as a CMS platform, (WordPress sites seem to be very Google-friendly and the database structure is good for SEO) and also the pervasive abilities of the search engines. Nothing really has changed; the wording on the privacy options always made it clear it was up to the search engines to respect your choice. It is now simpler for site owners to make a decision – check the box or leave it!
Makes sense to me.