Ok I just had to post this, as it’s too funny. I got a Google Alert this afternoon for this post, which mentioned one of my plugins as being listed by Web Designer Magazine. So, I Googled them, as the post didn’t link to them, and got this result:
Notice something? I know I did: there’s no description there. So I clicked on and checked the page to see what could cause that, finding it was easy:
<meta name='robots' content='noindex,nofollow' />
It was listed right above the
EditURI line that WordPress puts in by default, telling me they forgot to uncheck a box (that get’s checked by default on some auto installers, I’ve been told on Twitter):
One issue though… If Google had actually seen that tag, it wouldn’t have listed the site at all. So there had to be something else. And of course, there is: meet Webdesigner Magazine’s robots.txt:
User-agent: * Disallow: / Sitemap: http://www.webdesignermag.co.uk/sitemap.xml.gz
The first two lines there prevent Google from indexing the site entirely. But it just became funnier… The fourth line was added by a plugin they’re running, pointing search engine bots at their XML sitemap. Yes, the same bots they just forbade entry to their entire site… If you check out their XML sitemap, you’d notice they’re running Arne Brachold’s Google XML Sitemap Generator…
So: they installed an XML sitemap plugin, let’s see what else they did: ah… Cool! They’re running All In One SEO too! Now AIOSEO is “ok”, except: it doesn’t warn you for stupidities like these… Might be a darn good feature for an SEO plugin to check whether your site is actually allowing crawlers to come in, don’t you think? Ah well, nothing can be perfect.
Anyway, this tells me one thing: Web Designer Mag needs help with their WordPress install. And they need it bad. If you work for them, and read this, feel free to contact me on Twitter or through the contact form. I’d be happy to help!