TWIS How to Block Staging Server

What’s this about?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates w/e 18 August 2017.

Read this to discover how to block your staging server from Google’s index, and how to remove URLs if it does get indexed.

Contact me to get help removing your URLs from Google’s index, or preventing your staging and development URLs from getting indexed in the first place.

#SEO #SiteMigrations #WebDev #Redirects #Indexation #GoogleSearchConsole


How to Block Your Staging Server and Remove URLs from Google

Summary – How to Block Staging Server:

  • John Mueller wrote up a piece on Google+ re how to best block your staging server from prying eyes
  • He also included how to remove it from the Google index using Google Search Console.
  • You’d be surprised how many sites have their staging server open, available and potentially causing duplicate content, security, all sorts of issues.
  • Beneath is a snapshot of some Australian staging servers available. A few big names, who really ought to know better, or pick more technically adept design / development agencies:

Open Staging Servers Australia

Actions to take – How to Block Staging Server:

  1. If listed above, you should remove your staging server from Google’s index.
  2. 301 redirect the staging URLs to the live URLs.
  3. Use an XML Sitemap to give Google all URLs to 301 redirect.
  4. Alternatively, remove using the Google Search Console URL Removal Tool.
  5. Next time you’re on staging, use a username and password to control access.
  6. Ensure the noindex tag is used, just in case and, then removed pre go-live.
  7. You could also canonical to the live URL, but this is probably a bit tricky.
  8. Contact me to get help removing your URLs from Google’s index, or preventing your staging and development URLs from getting indexed in the first place.

Discussion:

I find it quite shocking some of the companies listed in that screengrab. They really ought to know better.

Having staging server URLs in the index can cause duplicate content issues, or canonical URLs issues, or even, embarrassment issues as content on staging may be placeholder and never intended to go live.

However you look at it, having Staging URLs in Google’s index, is not a Good Thing, and it is easily preventable and remediated.

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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TL;DR

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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