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My team is launching a new site soon.

  1. Is it worth blocking spiders from indexing the landing page right now?
  2. What effects will this have on my long term SEO results. Is this question even relevant?

Edit: title changed to reflect real nature of the question.

Edit2: great answers below, but in reality I am looking for an answer that directs me to whether the practice of blocking robots pre launch is good or bad for future SEO results.

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the landing page could allow your competitor's to gain an advantage or steal some of your ingenuity, then YES - BLOCK IT.

However that doesn't mean your page won't appear in search engine results. It is better to add <meta content=”noindex”> to each page but more of a pain to add and adjust.

This article is great and will help with the details -> robots.txt and effect on SEO

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Currently the landing page has nothing but a text box to collect emails and is protected by sql injection :). We have nothing right now for the competition to steal since all development is done off site. –  Thomas S May 4 '11 at 1:37
    
Then skip blocking it. Search Engines will make adjustments once your content updates. Please "check" if you accept this answer. Thanks and best of luck growing your traffic. –  Christopher Ickes May 4 '11 at 2:11
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If you really want to control the indexing of your site either to block it or promote it, the process is the same. Yes, you have the Robots.txt to help you out for the majority of search engines (that support it, a.k.a. the legit ones). But for the really major engines, like Google, Yahoo, and MSN (not sure about Ask), you get tools from them that allow you to control what is indexed to a much finer digree than Robots.txt ever will. For Google it was the Webmaster Tools, for Yahoo and MSN I forget what they were called, but you can find their tools as well. Sadly though, the Yahoo and MSN tools are way behind Google's, but should still do a good job for basic needs.

Using the combination of Robots.txt and the tools I've successfully kept a group of related websites from ever being indexed (they were being kept private), but I could have also promoted their ranking as well if I needed to through the same tools.

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