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Global Categories versus Search Engines in Privacy Settings

  1. Hi.

    So I was reading this old thread about global categories, namely how to make them local to my own blog. Once I changed the Privacy Settings to "I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors" that happened, which is great, but the thing is--I don't want to block search engines like google or whatever from finding, archiving, or indexing my wpcom blog. I just don't want the categories I've placed the posts in to link outside of the blog itself. Why are these two functions linked? Is there a way I can avoid the implementation of a robots.txt or something similar without linking my categories back to all of wpcom?

    The blog I need help with is templemarker.wordpress.com.

  2. These two functions are linked for important SEO and community-building reasons. WP.com has a vested interest in promoting the community of WP blogs, so it gives you a powerful incentive to use those global categories; they give solid pagerank and googlejuice benefits.

    Independently-hosted WordPress blogs have all their categories local to that specific blog, so there IS an alternative, just not one hosted here.

  3. I'm aware of the many virtues of independently hosted wordpress blogs, but I don't understand why choosing not to participate in the global categories de facto implies that you don't want your blog indexed or searchable at all. Unless the idea is solely a business scheme to force the user to accept the community aspect of wpcom as the only means to achieve visibility.

  4. Uh, yes. At least, that's my guess.

    (it's not the SOLE means to achieve visibility; without the global pages, your blog has more or less exactly the visibility of an independent WP install that doesn't ping search engines. You can always ping them manually, or use an automated external service like Pingoat. And if someone links to you, you'll get on the search engines quickly.)

  5. If you block search engines it doesn't matter if you ping manually or not since when a search engine gets to the blog, they see the "disallow" in the robots.txt file and go away. At least that is my understanding.

  6. Right; it's the non-pinging thing that concerns me, I suppose.

    Thanks for responding so quickly, anyway.

  7. That's interesting, because I've seen people complaining in the forum that once somebody linked to them they're showing up on search engines. I guess the solution is to coax somebody who IS indexed to link to you, since anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that works?

  8. That's such a backwards way of doing it, though, since partaking in global categories would only be one way of increasing your hits, or google-fu, or ranking, whatever. If you just wanted a search for "your blog name" in google to come up with, gasp, your blog!; but you don't want to do global cats for whatever reason, you're screwed. It seems like there's no way to do one without the other, and that's just rubbish.

  9. Like I said, I think it's engineering. Not every functionality of WP.com is designed to favour individual users. Such are the compromises of a free platform.

  10. Sorry, no - it's all or none.

    They're linked because community tag pages are (broadly) similar to a search engine. We figure you either want other people to find your blog easily, or you don't.

  11. The global tags and categories, if used properly, can do wonders for your blog's visibility and traffic. Do not use broad or generic tags or categories, make them narrow and possiby unique to your blog. That way, only your posts will show up in the global tags/categories list.

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