In Universal App admin, you can switch on/off the SEO toggle as you want. When turning it off, you will prevent search engines from indexing your publication and the content. It includes content that is already published on your Universal App.
Here are the steps to turn off SEO indexing of your Universal App content:
Log in to your Universal App admin.
Go to Settings > SEO on your left-hand sidebar.
Toggle the button to switch off SEO indexing
Click Save Changes
Why would you want to turn off the SEO feature?
There are various reasons our clients want to hide the publication from search engines, and the top two reasons are:
Their publication or magazine is only for internal company use or membership-only access. There is no need for it to rank on search engines since the general public can’t access or read the content.
They are still preparing to launch their project and would prefer to keep it private until they are ready to go public.
What happens when you turn off SEO for your digital publication?
When you turn off the Search Engine Indexing toggle, Universal App will "Disallow" directive in your robots.txt file.
The disallow directive in the robots.txt file stops search engine bots from crawling your Universal App content, but it's not guaranteed that those pages won't be indexed. For example, if your publication is live, and has turned on the Search Engine Indexing toggle before, this means that your Universal App has been indexed. Thus, the last information that was crawled and indexed by search engines has been stored and will still be shown on the search results.
This is because crawling is the process of discovering new pages on the internet, and indexing is the process of analysing and storing those pages in a search engine's index so that they can be retrieved and presented in search results.
Turning Off Search Engine Indexing will only stop the search engine from crawling your publication and, therefore won't update it with any new or changed content.
It's important to note that this doesn't remove the existing indexed pages from search engines but prevents future updates on those pages.
What is the effect of turning off SEO?
Other than what has been mentioned above, if your Universal App has not gone live (up and running, with a custom domain added to your Universal App), and has never been crawled and indexed by the search engines, your publication will not be shown on the search engine results page (SERPs).
This can be useful if your Universal App’s primary purpose is for internal communication, or you are still preparing to launch your magazine.
However, if the primary revenue of your business is from your digital publication, this can negatively affect your publication’s visibility and traffic.
It is generally recommended to keep your website fully indexed & crawled by search engines unless there is a specific reason not to. This way, users will be able to discover your content and it will drive more traffic and engagement to your website.
How long does it take for your publication to get discovered again by search engines?
“On our side, no significant delay --only a normal a couple minutes to take effect, just like any app. Once it's turned off/on, most of the time it takes effect on next render”
From Universal App side, when you turn on the SEO feature, Universal App will immediately remove the disallow directive, allowing Google to start crawling and indexing the content of your publication.
However, it will not necessarily cause your website to be immediately recrawled and reindexed by search engines. It will be added to Crawl Queue. Search engines may take some time to discover that the disallow directive has been removed and to schedule a crawl of your website.
The timing of search engines recrawling and reindexing your website can vary, and is dependent on factors like the size and complexity of your website, the number of pages, and how frequently you add and update content. It can be hard to give an exact time frame for when your website will be recrawled and reindexed.
Have questions? Feel free to reach out to our live chat at the bottom right corner of your Universal App dashboard or simply send an email to email@example.com
Visit the help playlist to get started with your Universal App here.