The most important of all the WordPress Settings.
So WordPress has this critical setting. When activated this setting tells search engines like Google that this site is not ready to be crawled and the search engines should just skip over this website. When used properly the setting is really powerful. If used incorrectly, this setting can have a tremendously negative effect on a business.
This one setting can seriously affect of businesses performance.
This is partly due to the fact that most businesses that use a WordPress website do not know this setting exists. They trust that the web designer that has built their website, knows what they’re doing and they trust that the web designer has not left in this box checked.
But sadly, it happens all the time.
When you think about, it’s real easy for this box to be left checked on a live business site.
All it takes is a migration from staging to live and a forgetful web developer.
Staging sites should have this box checked and often do. Because staging sites should not be crawled by search engines. If search engines crawl a staging site then the staging site your urls will be served up in search results along with the live site urls. Which is not a good user experience.
The problem is, Every now and then web developers need to copy staging to live. You should never copy staging to live without a really good reason. People get busy, people forget things and this happens all the time with disastrous effect.
If your site is not ranking please check the setting now and if this box is checked on your live site, simply uncheck it. Your site will be crawled within the next week and business will start happening for you again.