Recovering a WordPress Site After Getting De-indexed by Google
There are many reasons that can cause Google to remove a site from its search index. We will go through the most common reasons for websites getting deindexed one by one.
Before we do that, you need to review your site’s content yourself. If a site has content that is illegal and harmful, then Google will not include it in the search results. Make sure that you understand Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the reasons that may cause Google to de-index a WordPress site.
Check Search Engine Visibility Settings in WordPress
WordPress comes with an option to hide your site from search engines. The purpose of this option is to allow site-owners to work on their site without getting the search traffic.
It is possible that you, or some other user with administrator level access on your website may have accidentally enabled this option.
Simply login to the admin area of your WordPress website and go to Settings » Reading page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, there you will find the search engine visibility option.
Make sure that the box next to search engine visibility option is unchecked. If it is checked, then you need to uncheck it and click on the save changes button to store your settings.
Check Your Site with Google Search Console
Google allows webmaster to see how Google sees their websites with Search Console (formerly webmaster tools). If you haven’t already added your WordPress site to Google search console (formerly webmaster tools), then you can do it now.
After logging into your Google search console account, there are three main sections where Google will directly inform you what’s wrong with your site.
Messages: This is where Google directly sends messages about your Google search console account.
Crawl errors: If for some reason Google cannot crawl your website properly, then this is the page those errors will show up.
Security: On this page, Google will show if it detects a security issue with your website.
Check Your Site for Malicious Code
One of the most common reasons that a site could get de-indexed is malware distribution. If a WordPress site gets hacked, the hackers can install a script that can install malicious software on users browsers.
People visiting your website will see a safe browsing warning in browsers like Google Chrome.
Cleaning a hacked WordPress site has multiple steps such as locating the infected files, clean it or replace it.
Reaching out to Google
After going through all the steps mentioned above, you can reach out to Google and ask them to reconsider your website for inclusion in their index.
Here is how to request for reinclusion in Google search index.
First make sure that your website follows Google’s webmaster quality guidelines, and you have thoroughly checked your website.
If you are certain that your website is clean and safe, then you can simply submit a reconsideration request.