My Magento store has been live on my server for around 10 days. The website isn't quite ready and will take another week before all of the pages, categories and products are what I want.

After looking in my settings I realise that default robots have been set to “INDEX, FOLLOW”. Should I change this to "NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW" until everything is ready? I imagine search engines may have already started indexing some pages.

Thanks for any help you can give me, I'm still getting to grips with this.


The site should remain in NOINDEX mode until you're absolutely ready to go live. In my experience a site being indexed by Google early cannot hurt you other than to bring traffic that is simply unable to checkout to your store. That can cause bad perception issues in the future.

Additionally there are a bunch of factors that go into your pagerank including your site speed and HTTPS, etc. You should have all of these ironed out before submitting via Webmaster Tools or allowing Google to index you rather than waiting for a re-crawl.

  • 1
    I'm no SEO. But I would be inclined to merely use a 503 (ie. maintenance mode) sitewide, versus a NOINDEX, as my fear would be the time it takes for Google to reconsider a NOINDEX versus a "new" page. Nov 17 '14 at 23:04
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    I agree that a 503 will be better than NOINDEX as it may take some time before Google reindex the website again. For a new website, it's not likely for initial indexing by Google to bring much traffic, if at all. Nov 18 '14 at 7:44

If your page isn't quite ready for the public, put a maintenance page on your domain and send an error document with 503 Service unavailable.

You can include an exception for your IP adress(es) so that you can access the page anyway and don't get redirected:

ErrorDocument 503 /errors/503.php
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^ [NC] #your IP
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^ [NC] #other IP if needed
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/errors/503.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/media/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/images/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/css/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/js/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/skin/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/index.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/admin #your admin path
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/admin/
RewriteRule ^(.*) http://www.yourwebsite.com/errors/503.php [L,R=503]

In my experience I would just leave the settings alone. If you are officially live in 7 days (I would even say a month), these types of settings will not make a difference whatsoever.

It will take you about a month or more for the bulk of your site to be indexed by search engines that will start driving traffic to your website anyway, the sooner you are getting indexed, the less time you will have to wait to start converting.

Unless the site is really that bad, I'd leave the defaults and just keep an eye on your Google Web Master Tools for any errors and correct them as they appear.

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