I just logged into my CP site and noticed the “Search Engines Discouraged” blurb in the dashboard.
I run several security plugins as well as that discouraging setting in options-reading.
Yet… looking through Wordfence’s Live Traffic and the NewStatPress panel, I see Google User Content and Facebook external hits showing up.
Google has responded to my “discouraging” them on my photo site (from which they were happy to provide cached thumbnails for pirates, now that service is provided by Automattic when I search for stolen images, even though I have no account with them) by derating my personal name site compared to every other search engine which places it first because of my unusual name, so it seems that it bugs them that I’m being discouraging.
What I would really like is the ability to have a relatively private site, not searchable or hotlinkable, but easily visited if one knows the URL and is not a bot sniping for free desktop backgrounds or fodder for NFT’s.
I know that such is pretty impossible. But it does seem like there could be a setting where the social media company IP’s are blocked and the IP list would auto-update to keep those predators from harvesting. Facebook in particular seems to spawn a lot of new ones.
I especially loathe the ones that steal and then refuse to let me browse their site to see if my content is there. e.g. Pinterest and Facebook.
The ideal would be a pane that would have checkboxes to block those offenders’ IP’s. It could be an extension of options-read.php or a plugin.
I’m aware that many want even more publicity and popularity and that most plugins are ways to increase SEO and so forth.