Here’s something interesting that I found out about from a student of mine named Jeanette.
If you’ve just uploaded a new WordPress blog recently, you may want to check the privacy settings to make sure it’s visible to everyone!
In the privacy settings area there are 2 options to choose from. One allows your blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines. The other blocks search engines from seeing your blog but will allow normal visitors.
In the latest update of WordPress (2.8.4) the default option has now been set to block search engines and only allow normal visitors. This used to be automatically set as visible to everyone, including search engines.
If you manually install a new WordPress blog the privacy option is shown on the install page, however it is now set to block search engines by default. Choosing the correct option can still be done when doing a manual install.
However, if you have recently installed WordPress using Fantastico you were not given an option to choose the privacy settings, which means your blogs visibility may be set to block search engines.
This also means that no pinging will happen whenever a new entry is posted and this is important for the SE indexing purpose.
Of course this can be easily corrected by simply going to Settings > Privacy and choosing the correct option for your blog, which in most cases will be to allow search engines.
If you do install a new blog using WordPress 2.8.4 (including using the Fantastico tool in CPanel), make sure you reset the privacy to the first option.
You might also want to check any current sites you’ve upgraded recently for the privacy settings, to make sure they can allow search engines to see your site.