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Can I have a brand new site on Private but allow Google to crawl it still?

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Hi legends, 

I am working on a site for a client who has a brick and mortar opening in 2 months time. Ideally I want to have the site up and running so that Google can crawl it and start ranking etc before they open the doors however, the client wants it to be unsearchable until they are live. 

Is there anyway to have the site 'Private' but still crawl-able by Google et al?




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Hi @Jaz_Currie_12 - unfortunately, your site needs to be public in order for Google to crawl it - reason being is, if it's not public, your sitemap won't be available to Google.

I have a blog on this topic here: https://www.seospace.co.uk/blog/squarespace-website-not-showing-up-on-google 

Henry Purchase

Founder of SEOSpace - the SEO plugin for Squarespace.

Get a Free Squarespace SEO Audit: https://www.seospace.co.uk/squarespace-seo-audit-score


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Hi @Jaz_Currie_12. Yes a site needs to be public for search engines to crawl it. But there's a bit of confusion regarding the role of sitemaps. Google does not require a sitemap to crawl and index a website: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/sitemaps/overview

You have the right idea on getting it crawled sooner rather than later. Just make sure to explain to the client the missed marketing opportunities and delayed visibility on search engines if they choose to wait. 

Have SEO questions? Chances are we've written about it! Try a quick Google search to find our advice. Or for personalized support, see our consulting and training sessions.  Official Squarespace Experts since 2014 

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