What’s the biggest professional mistake that you’ve ever made? I’ve had a good few mistakes that a) have been very expensive and b) I’ve learned a great deal from. In fact, one of my favourite interview questions was to ask candidates to tell me about their biggest mistake; the results could be quite revealing. More to the point: I’d much rather hire someone who’s made a big mistake or two than someone who’s still waiting for their first time.
Just a few minutes ago, I found what is possibly my biggest personal mistake to date. And ouch, is it painful!
A month or two later, I noticed that neither were in Google’s index. That is, I typed in site:campaignbar.com and was greeted with nothing in response.
The pattern continued: once a month I’d check, raise an eyebrow, and move on.
In July, I made the decision to relaunch CampaignBar, and set out trying to work out why it wasn’t being indexed. And got nowhere. Fast.
Just now, I was Googling away once more, and saw a reference to something that might be relevant. My heart sank. It was a mention of something I really should have checked several months ago.
I’d previously made sure that a rogue robots.txt wasn’t telling search engines to go away, and had likewise checked in Google’s Webmaster Tools that there were no rules preventing Google from indexing the site. Little did I know…
Yup, that’s right! The theme I had bought helpfully included the following line:
<meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex,nofollow’ />
Which is the equivalent of your website holding up a gigantic red STOP sign any time Google, Bing or A.N. Other come near.