By default, your Joy site isn’t automatically made visible to search engines, but there is a chance that it could be visible in internet searches when someone searches for your names and/or wedding, for example, “Jack and Jill wedding.” But if you’d like to change your site’s visibility to Google (and other search engines), you can now use this toggle in Settings:
We’ll immediately signal to Google and other search engines that your preference has been updated. It’s up to the search engines on how long that change takes, but it usually can take from a few days to a few weeks.
For those that are brave, here’s some nitty gritty information on how this works…
Search engines work using a process called indexing. For example, when you search for ‘wedding venue,’ Google knows what pages to show you because it has a database that connects the term ‘wedding venue’ with a list of relevant pages. Creating that database is called indexing. Google starts by looking at all the websites registered on the internet and goes to their homepages. It then follows any links from that home page, to other pages, and then follows any links on those other pages to other pages, and so on, and each time, it adds those pages to their database. Slowly it looks at every public page on the internet and adds them to their database. But viewing and cataloging every single public page on the internet still takes a long time. Google speeds up the process by having a lot of computers working on it all the time, but it can still take weeks.
(To note, Google is not logged into any of the websites that they are crawling, so a good amount of the internet is hidden to them. For example, most of Facebook is not indexed because you have to be logged into an account to see that content).
Furthermore, when something is changed anywhere on the internet, Google doesn’t know about it right away. Periodically they have to make additional rounds to re-index pages on the internet, to look for changes. Google also does not publish statistics on how often they look for changes, and they recheck higher trafficked sites more frequently than lower trafficked sites. Lots of factors go into how often each page is checked for updates, like usage statistics from Chrome or how often the website comes up in searches. With that said, it may take time before your Joy website is hidden from searches, (if it was previously searchable) as it may take time for Google to come back and re-index.
At Joy, we hide your website using a little note called a ‘X-Robots-Tag’ header that tells Google that this page should not be shown in searches. This is the standard way of telling Google, or any other search engine, to not store the website in their catalog. But, again, when you change your setting, Google does not immediately know that the setting has been changed until they re-index. They won’t add or remove your website from searches until the page gets re-cataloged during indexing. The time frame for this could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get indexed, and it will be different with each search engine, (and possibly each page of your Joy website). Hence, it could take a few days, or a few weeks, for your Joy website to be hidden.
If you would like to have your website hidden on a more urgent basis, we can manually ask Google to re-index a specific page. To submit this request, please reach out to our support team via chat or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still have some questions?
Ask us directly! Click on the black and white chat bubble in the bottom-right corner of this page to ask us your questions, or you can email us at email@example.com. You’ll get a friendly response from someone on our team!