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Why Did My WordPress Site Get De-Indexed From Google?

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Are you wondering why Google de-indexed your WordPress site?

Search engines are a major source of traffic for most websites on the internet. That means that getting de-indexed from Google can take away most of your traffic.

In this article, we will show you why your WordPress site got de-indexed from Google and what you can do to fix it.

Why My WordPress Site Got De-indexed from Google? What Can I Do to Fix It?

Why Does Google Remove a Website From Its Index?

The Google Search Index is like a huge library of information from all the websites that have been visited, analyzed, and stored by Google. When someone looks for content on Google, the index helps them quickly find and show the most relevant web pages.

If your site has been removed or de-indexed by Google, then it won’t show up on the search results pages anymore. This means that you won’t be able to get traffic to your website from Google.

There are many reasons that Google will remove a site from its search index, such as:

  • Legal issues such as copyright violations
  • Low-quality content that contains spam or has been scraped from other websites
  • Too many keywords designed to influence search engines rather than help users
  • Duplicate content
  • A suspicious number of links to or from your website
  • Links or redirects that mislead users
  • Showing different content to users and search engines, including excluding some web pages from your sitemap
  • Malware, or links to websites that contain malware
  • Violations of Google’s policies or guidelines

Removing sites with serious issues like these can ensure the quality and reliability of search results pages and the safety of users.

So, if your website has been de-indexed, the first thing you should do is review its content. If your site has content that is illegal or harmful, then Google will not include it in the search results. You will need to make sure that you understand Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Guidelines).

There are also less serious issues that will result in Google penalizing your site by ranking it lower rather than removing it from the index altogether. You can learn how to fix these issues in our guide on how to recover from a Google search penalty.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the reasons that may cause Google to de-index a WordPress site. You can use the links below to jump to the section you are interested in:

1. Check Search Engine Visibility Settings in WordPress

WordPress comes with an option to hide your site from search engines. The purpose of this setting is to allow site owners to work on their websites without getting search traffic.

It is possible that you or some other user with administrator access on your website may have accidentally enabled this option.

Simply log in to the admin area of your WordPress website and go to Settings » Reading page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and there, you will find the ‘Search engine visibility’ option.

Search engine visibility option in WordPress Settings

Make sure that the box next to the ‘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.

2. Check Your Site With Google Search Console

Google allows website owners 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, then you can do it now.

After logging in to your Google Search Console account, you need to scroll down to the ‘Security & Manual Actions’ section. Once there, you should click on the ‘Manual actions’ menu item.

Google Search Console Manual Actions

You may see one or more issues listed.

These issues can include spam, unnatural links, sneaky redirects, hidden text, keyword stuffing, content with little or no added value, policy violations, and more.

You will need to carefully fix each issue and then click the ‘Request Review’ button. We’ll talk more about requesting a review in the last section of this guide.

Next, you should click on the ‘Security issues’ menu item to check for further problems.

Google Search Console Security Issues

Like the ‘Manual actions’ section, if there are any security issues, then they will be listed and explained. The most common WordPress security issue is a website affected by malware and trojans. We show you how to check for these in the next section.

Once you fix the issues, you can click the ‘Request Review’ button. More on that below.

3. Check Your Site for Malicious Code

One of the most common reasons that a site gets de-indexed is malware distribution. If a WordPress site gets hacked, then the hackers may 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.

Dangerous Site Warning in Google Chrome

Cleaning a hacked WordPress site has multiple steps, such as locating the infected files, cleaning them, or replacing them.

That’s why we recommend using a security plugin or tool to stop hackers from breaking into your site. At WPBeginner, we use Cloudflare, but you can also check out our list of the best WordPress security plugins.

For those of you who want to do it on your own, you can take a look at our beginner’s guide to fixing a hacked WordPress site.

4. Reach Out to Google

After going through all the steps mentioned above, you will need to reach out to Google and ask them to reconsider your website for inclusion in their index.

First, make sure that your website follows Google’s webmaster quality guidelines and that you have thoroughly checked your content.

Once you are certain that your website is clean and safe, you can click the ‘Request Review’ button in Google Search Console.

Here are a few things you should include when submitting the reconsideration request:

  • It will help if you explain in detail that you understand the best practices described in Google Search Essentials. You can demonstrate this by sharing links to answers you found in Google forums, YouTube videos, and other documentation.
  • Next, you should also demonstrate that you’ve done everything that you can to fix the issues you found listed in Google Search Console. You can provide evidence, such as a list of the links or malware you removed, including screenshots.
  • Finally, you should reassure Google that you won’t make the same mistakes again and that your site’s content is there to genuinely help users, not just to gain an SEO advantage. Let them know that you understand and will follow their guidelines.

After you submit the consideration request, you will need to wait for Google to review it. This may take days or even months, depending on the severity of the issues you were penalized for,

You can learn more in our ultimate guide to Google Search Console.

We hope this article helped you learn why your WordPress site got de-indexed from Google and how you can fix it. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up WordPress performance and our expert pick of the best WordPress SEO plugins and tools.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

12 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Moinuddin Waheed says

    I think the main reason for deindexing a website from Google search visibility would be the violation of Google terms and conditions.
    non compliance of Google policies and not adhering to the content policy is never going to help in online businesses.
    Thanks for giving the resolution steps wpbeginner.

  3. Muhammad Hammad says

    How the XML sitemap will impact the indexing issue? I changed the URL structure of my WP site and I submitted a new XML sitemap, but still, my new URLs are not indexed.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      After submitting your sitemap you would need to give Google time to recrawl your content before your site is indexed.


  4. Mrteesurez says

    Thanks for this information.
    I have this issue that I have not gotten it solved.
    I will try check the “manual & security” tabs to know.

    But maybe I will need to reach out to Google.

  5. Ria says

    My wordpress website got de-indexed by Bing. Bing doesn’t tell about the particular issue. I contacted to the Bing support team, Bing guy told me to follow Bing webmaster guidelines, now I don’t know from where I start, I have checked content, backlinks all these things. Any idea?

  6. Joel Emmett says

    You left out the most obvious reason websites get de-indexed from Google: SEO.

    Other than offering frequent quality content on a website, any clear attempt at SEO can get you banned from Google. They’ve repeated that over and over and over and over for more than a decade. Try to trick Google, and they can ban you.

    For example, I did a site for an orthodontist who later hired a “SEO specialist” who stuffed 3 keywords per page. The site was banned within the month; I suggested the distraught doctor delete the site and start over, with another designer.

    I suppose that your site has so much about SEO tactics that you chose to overlook that fact? Instead, why not focus on what Google is looking for — quality content and high usability — which will not only keep sites from being de-indexed, but help the sites’ visitors as well.

  7. John Kanelis says

    I once was approved for ads, but got “deactivated” because I violated the “terms of agreement.” I apologized to Google for the misunderstanding. I got reapproved. I’m still awaiting ads to be placed on my site. What do I have to do to make that a reality?

  8. Mark Dalton says

    I had the red sign, stay away from this website treatment from Google just because of one of my links to an external site. That site, a normal one, got blacklisted somehow.
    Google was useless at telling me what the problem was from the webmaster dashboard. Eventually I found a site Google has for the public to check websites on, and this gave better details.

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