A Little Privacy

Last night we rolled out the first pass at our basic privacy functions. There is now a checkbox on your General Options page that says “I would like my blog to appear in search engines like Google and Technorati, and in public listings around WordPress.com.” If you uncheck this, you will put your blog into “stealth” mode. However, there are a few important things to know about what this does exactly:

  • It adds HTML to all your pages asking search engines to not index the page or follow any links on it.
  • It stops your site from “pinging” search engines (through Ping-O-Matic) when you update.
  • It stops your blog from being tracked in the top posts and top blogs parts of WordPress.com
  • It stops your blog from showing up in the “latest posts” on the Dashboard

That said, we can’t prevent you from showing up in things we don’t control. So if a search engine still indexes you or has a cache of your page, you either have to contact them about it or wait for it to expire eventually. However if you mark your blog as private from the beginning (and it’s now an option on signup) you should be fairly safe from engines like Google.

We’ll be rolling out more fine-grained access control in the future, so stay tuned for new features in this area. We believe you should have highly precise control over who sees which entries and pages.


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Matt

43 Comments

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  1. Pingback: Restricted Vision » Blog Privacy
  2. Pingback: cold coffee in a spent cup » Blog Archive » Wordpress privacy
  3. Lozbo

    That is just great! I dont think i want the blogs i have right now on stealth mode but i will be opening one for my father who would like just that… thanx!

    Like

  4. Kichigai-san

    Very nice! Thanks!

    Like

  5. teen

    Nope I don’t want my blog on stealth mode. Thanks anyway

    Like

  6. clevergael

    A wonderful option for those whose blogs are more personal, or may be experimenting with blogging for the first time. Increases that comfort zone a little…

    Like

  7. lafemme

    thank god for stealth. the one reason i signed up was mainly to run away from google.

    thanks for the option!

    Like

  8. blaze

    Google is your friend!

    Well I guess not if you’re in the closet and trying to stay that way like that guy……

    Like

  9. unzelblog

    nice tool, but i doubt that the majority will be using it :)

    Like

  10. kopicat

    How about a friends-only feature so that you must log in to view? I’d rather not have to key in a password each time I want to keep a post private, just set a privacy level option for a group of friends I have granted access to.
    And they would not have to type in the password for every post, just stay logged in.

    Like

  11. No Bon Ceng

    Good. There’s an option for those who likes to be “stealth” mode.

    Like

  12. Kirk

    For the most part, I understand why keeping blogs as “open” as possible is encouraged. However, this is not always possible for a variety of reasons. As “kopicat” suggested above, it would be ideal if access could be restricted according to privacy levels, rather than on a post-by-post basis.

    Furthermore, I think one should be able to layer a blog in such a way that when the blog is viewed by the public at-large, only those posts that are completely open are displayed. This way, the fact that some parts of the site have been concealed is not readily known.

    After all, part of privacy includes the ability to hide things without informing others that you are doing so. In other words, unless I want the general public to know that I am restricting certain parts of my blog, I think I should be able to hide the fact that I’m even hiding anything. In some cases, bloggers want users to be aware that they are “missing out” on certain content, but in other cases, bloggers don’t want others to know that they are “missing out” on anything.

    Taken to the extreme, one could customize the privacy level for each individual blog entry, and if a blogger so wished, he/she could publish a blog that displays differently according to the hetergenous social hierarchy they have set. This last idea may be a little much, but I do think the privacy features need to be fleshed out and a more flexible system implemented.

    Otherwise, I’m excited by the rapid progress being made at wordpress.com. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  13. Pingback: Perry Ismangil » Stealth mode on WordPress.com
  14. Dick

    I would like only certain articles to be private.

    Like

  15. uncorkt

    i signed up trying to learn about this feature. now i understand better what i’m in for. i need a private blog for a new venture, and dont want to pay $15 a month to get it… thanks and i agree with kopicat about a private, friends only feature, it would be killa

    Like

  16. alex

    this is a great feature for people who are greatly concerned w/ privacy.

    thank you.

    Like

  17. Lohan Gunaweera

    Can it really be “undone” if you want your blog to go public later? Does it remove those HTML stuff that prevent search engines, when your check that box? :)
    I want to know this because I decided to avoid search engines when I was starting my blog but now I want it to be public.

    Like

  18. Pingback: Kapusta Brothers » Blog Archive » Wordpress.com Fast Tracked for Success
  19. neilmichael

    It’s good to have the optin, that’s for sure!

    Like

  20. xezo

    I just love life! It´s so wonderful. I am really happy to be here.

    Like

  21. Admin

    I have the same question as lgjournal: Can it really be “undone? if you want your blog to go public later? I too recently started a wordpress blog and didn’t want my site to be public to begin with but now I do. Recently, I checked the box stating I want my site listed but it is not appearing in any search engines. Any suggestions?

    Like

  22. januarys

    I stayed stealth until I felt I had significant content. I take going public seriously and made a decision about it. Stealth mode and Searchable mode are definitely assets and important options at WordPress.

    Like

  23. jvendryes

    I am not stealth and have yet to show up on google..

    Like

  24. tumicrobiology

    We would like to share our content with all the netizens. We really want to go “searchable.”
    Hope the materials in our site would be appearing soon on the google.

    Like

  25. designbeauty

    Yeah, it’s good idea for us to have option whether we ping or not.
    Thank you.

    Like

  26. Pingback: I Dove Into Delete » Blog Archive » A Wordpress Blogger Must Configure Ping-o-matic
  27. bïöµï¢

    # 27 Thanks :)

    Like

  28. emmadw

    I like the points that Kirk has made. We’ve used blogs with students in place of totally private learning journals. For some students, the thought that *anyone* could see them was daunting. To be able to easily set levels of privacy would be very useful for the sort of thing we’re doing (academic blogs), and I suspect for many others.

    Like

  29. blaze

    If you dont want the search engines to find you, why post on the internet? Why not just keep a Journal is MS Word or even Outlook or something like that?

    Or am I just a bit old fashioned in saying that?

    Like

  30. keru

    Open blogs are just too good wish you could add more search engines which enable us to get more wider.

    Like

  31. Pingback: Tim & Sara » Blog Archive » WordPress
  32. felixbr

    Good day for all. I am made an impression with the amount of members

    Like

  33. lokgeet

    लोकगीत प्रकृति का नैसर्गिक उपहार हैं।

    Like

  34. ShiNa

    privacy are not for bloggers..

    Like

  35. neilgroom

    Privacy – No thank you. Great idea though. Nice idea for those who want it, but I can’t understand why they would.

    Keep up the great work you do. WordPress rules :)

    Like

  36. peripheries

    If you don’t want your blog to be public why bother writing one?

    Go back to the old paper and pen diary, or use a word processor…

    I don’t get this….

    Best
    ~R

    Like

  37. oprecht

    Very nice! Thanks!

    Like

  38. summu

    Well.. Its great that so much work is being done.

    @peripheries

    We want some posts to be read only by some individuals. And it would be great wordpress would provide us with a feature that would allow us to grant access to only certain users.

    Like

  39. cricles

    GOOD !!!

    Like

  40. bodawei

    fwiw, this is a differentiating feature and is why I’m using this service (versus other blogging systems). Maybe some of the other blogging services offer such a thing, but it doesn’t stand out very much.

    Like

  41. bodawei

    Duh. Except this page probably ends up in some search engines’ spider trees, and so my incautious comment will get my site indexed. Oh well. Back to the drawing board.

    Like

  42. Matt

    bodawei, the privacy is on your site, it doesn’t matter where you comment.

    Like

  43. Pingback: Elphin del Mundo » Archivo del weblog » Blog privado, ¿un oxímoron?
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