Slowly people are finding out but WEEBLY AND WIX HAVE MADE CHANGES. Their Free Websites will not be crawled by Search Engines!!!! So pay them, or your Free site will be useless.
According to Weebly, older Free Sites will be okay, but new ones will not be seen in search engines.
Interesting. Do you know why? Are they wanting to preserve the main Weebly domain's rank?
That's interesting, Linda. I've opted for Weebly Pro since I first built my site in 2013, so I guess I'm safe. I know a few others in the Weeblyhood who have opted for the free version because they think it'll be easier to move to another service if need be. Not sure of the logic there, but I'm glad my site will continue to be crawled.
Hello I am the the founder and CEO of Bookmark.com - Really this is an awesome new website builder that all SEO traffic will still be indexed by Google
There are a limited number of options for free sites out there.
I think it's more than likely that their free sites have been taken over by those fleeing the various content farms that have closed down - and Wix and Weebly are getting concerned about the content!
Plus have one eye on the scope for making money from the paid versions!
Do you have a link for that information Linda? It's news to me and I haven't seen it anywhere.
Mark: I found out on Amazon Associates Discussion Board. I verified it with Weebly. Their claim is that Google knows the difference between Free and Paid for sites and that Free sites don't get traffic which is bull. Like you, I have not seen any announcement either, not even if you look up the costs for their sites, they don' t mention it.
I was told that the old Free sites won't be affected, but robots will not be allowed to crawl the new free sites. I could not get a straight answer as to why have a Free site if search engines cannot crawl it.
My hunch is that the Free sites will disappear altogether, and then everybody will have to pay Weebly to have a site there.
Can you quote exactly what they said - as their website includes lots of help pages re getting your website listed with Google etc etc
The notion that they can tell the difference is easy to explain ie the free sites cannot have their own domain name and hence all have weebly.com in their URLs
Of more interest is the possible notion that maybe Google is taking the view that ANY large site which hosts content for free is not worth visiting - because that might then be relevant to HubPages (ie every site has HubPages.com in the URL)
Here is the entire conversation:
Visitor: I just saw this posted in a forum. Is this true?
new Weebly free accounts are blocking all crawlers (which would include Google) in robot.txt.
Trevor B: Hey there!
Visitor: Hi Trevor
Trevor B: That is correct yes, free accounts using free domain names will no longer be indexed on search engines and will be required to at least be on our lowest plan which is $49 for 6 months of service. However that service does include a free domain name with it
Visitor: Starter packages are okay then
Visitor: So new free sites won't be found by search engines??
Trevor B: Correct however this only applies to brand new accounts. What is the email for your account? I can see if this applies to you
Visitor: All of mine are Starter packages
Visitor: Why have free sites if search engines won't find them???
Trevor B: thanks! Pulling your account up now
Trevor B: Free sites are used for many different reasons and Search engines recognize whether or not someone is paying for their site. Free sites do not rank great anyways which makes sense why the change would be made
Visitor: So if I don't renew packages and let my sites revert back to Free version, they will be blocked from search engines.
Visitor: Not with Weebly. Free sites do rank
Visitor: Some try Free sites to see how they do before they decide to use Starter package or Pro package.
Visitor: This is a bad move by Weebly.
Trevor B: Actually no
Visitor: I started with Free Sites and my traffic is no different between Free and Paid For with Weebly.
Trevor B: Once you have upgraded to Starter and you are ranked, come time of renewal you will still be ranked
Visitor: What if the paid site is not renewed and reverts back to Free Site.
Trevor B: You will still be ranked however any services you used under the Starter plan, would need to be removed before you are able to publish again
Visitor: Okay. Sad Weebly has done this. People can get paid domains with Blogger for 11 bucks a year, WP is cheaper than Weebly. Weebly is shooting themselves in the foot. if free sites won't be indexed, they may as well get rid of them altogether then.
Trevor B: This is why we love our customers though because feedback like this is very valuable. I know this is not an immediate solution and I understand why it is frustrating. But I will be sure to forward your information on to our feedback request team.
Trevor B: You will also be getting a survey after this that will allow you to rate the new changes and leave comments, these are all reviewed by our Senior Support team and are used to improve Weebly for future changes
Visitor: I started with Free site and my traffic was no less than what I get now. I went paid domain so it would be more professional looking. Free sites are a good way to test a niche, etc. Unlike others like HG, Wix, etc, Google loves Weebly, but now no index, people will go elsewhere bc there is no sense in creating a free site on Weebly
Visitor: What a shame!
This is the problem with these free hosts. There is always the risk they'll change the rules, and then you're up the creek because there's no way to transfer your content.
Reading blackhatworld (what a bunch of illiterate low lifes) seems they use Weebly and others to build crappy plagiarised blogs for backlinks. So they steal content and ruin sites in order to promote whatever rubbish they are duplicating across the internet.
On the plus side if Weebly and others are aware of damage this does to their sites that may be a good thing. Close down the free offering and shut out the spammers.
Yes... the honest ones have to pay but we always do for the way the spammers destroy everything.
I was paying anyway so the only effect I can see might be a good one. But hey, you never know what is going to happen next.
You do have a point there. Those who are copying content, and putting it on the Free Sites at Weebly, etc, they have wasted their time bc they really won't reap any benefits from doing so.
All of my sites there are paid for sites. The one loss is for those who have an idea for a niche, etc and test it out with a Free Site before they make an investment for paid domain and paid hosting. Blogger is a waste of time anymore. The traffic there has been dead for over a year now. Besides that, they will shut down a site for no sensible reason, without notice, making them a waste of time.
I also have a code the prevents anybody from doing the copy and paste thing. That may not stop everybody, but it does stop a lot of them.
I would love to know why Weebly decided Google was discriminating against free sites - if it's true then it has major implications for blogspot etc.
i agree. What does Google have to say in its defense?
Actually Google doesn't have to defend itself. All the free blogging platforms are over-run with spammers, abandoned blogs and other dross. Google MAY have decided that it can't justify allocating resources to sifting through the junk, so it's more efficient to simply ignore the lot. Anyway, Google has said, over and over again, that it wants "authority" sites, and an "authority" is hardly likely to be writing on a free platform - so ignoring the free platforms would make sense from that perspective too.
However, I haven't seen anyone saying that's what they've done - except Weebly. So I'd love to know where they got their information from.
Marisa: I posted the entire conversation that I had with them. As you can see, it was like pulling teeth to get a straight answer which I never really got. Their claim is that Google does not send that much traffic to Free sites anyway. This is there only answer
"Trevor B: Free sites are used for many different reasons and Search engines recognize whether or not someone is paying for their site. Free sites do not rank great anyways which makes sense why the change would be made"
They also have investors from China, so it could be a money thing. As people leave content farms, maybe they have more Free sites than Paid Sites. But, like I have already stated, it is impossible to get a straight answer from them.
Is blogspot the same as blogger? I am asking because doesn't Google own blogger?
Here is a link that answers your question: http://isaacyassar.blogspot.com/2009/03 … gspot.html
Supposedly, Google owns both. If I go Blospot dot com in search, it takes me to blogger.
Thanks, Linda. Awhile back, when I decided to start a blog, I was advised to buy a domain name, which I did. Are you saying that I could have gotten a free one from blogspot? Wish I had known that.
Also, I noticed today that even though I shut down that site, it's still there, waiting for me to start all over again. That was a real surprise!
Yes but your domain name would be xyz.blogspot.com instead of xyz.com
If you delete site, it stays for awhile then disappears.
I deleted a very, very long time ago!
You can check to see if it is still there. Just go to blogger for your bog list, and on left sidebar you should see published and deleted blogs. Click on deleted if any are there which will take you to spot where you can undelete it.
If nothing is there, then yes it is gone forever.
TT2 - no, blogspot would not have given you a free domain name. The "free" one is simply their sub-domain name (in which case your blog would've been called ".........blogspot.com"), but it's easier to establish credibility if you have a "proper" domain name.
If your blog is still "sitting there waiting for you", then it sounds as though you didn't delete it. You may have got rid of the domain name - but if you can go to your Blogger dashboard and still see all your posts, then your blog is still there and available for people to visit, it will just be appearing under the ....blogspot.com name.
I removed the domain name along with every post. Thought that was enough. Apparently not!
Why would it, if blogspot and blogger are owned by Google?
Google has owned Blogger forever
Linda - I still don't understand. Where was this converation. Was it email correspondence with Weebly or was it on some official Weebly site
If it was on any other site I'd say the status of what was being said was about the same as some of those of us who pronouce on the way the internet works on this site - some are right, some are not - but it's certainly not official.
What your read is copy of transcript, conversation between myself and Weebly Service Rep, sent to me by Weebly so I could evaluate person I had conversation with.
It is official now. If you go to the "Pricing" section on the Weebly website and look at the table of features for the different plans, you'll see that they've added a row for search engine indexing. The column for the free version of Weebly has a blank space beside this feature.
Thanks Alicia for adding that information. They did that in the past few hours. No noticed to anybody though. Think of all of those Free sites that will get deindexed without them knowing it.
Alica: What is link to page you saw. I found pricing page but nothing is there.
I went to Weebly's home page, then scrolled to the bottom of the page. On the bottom left under the "Product" heading is the Pricing link. When I clicked on this link I scrolled down on the resulting page to get to the features table. I'm using an iPad. I don't know if that gives me a different view of the website.
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