Do Draft WordPress Posts (Unpublished) Affect Your SEO

Do Draft WordPress Posts (Unpublished) Affect Your SEO?

When writing content for a WordPress website, it’s common to save drafts of posts without immediately publishing them.

This allows you to store works in progress or unfinished content ideas without having them go live on your site immediately.

But does saving content as a draft impact your site’s SEO or search engine rankings? Do unpublished draft posts get crawled and indexed like published posts?

This is an important question for bloggers and site owners to understand, so let’s discuss it!

Are There Any SEO Impacts from Draft Posts?

Because unpublished drafts are invisible to search engines, they have no direct SEO value or influence over search rankings. 

However, drafts can have some indirect SEO implications in certain cases:

  • Publishing Date: After publishing a draft, its published date may affect rankings. Backdating a draft before publishing could manipulate this date.
  • Internal Links: Links within a draft could indirectly impact SEO if retained in the published version.
  • Keyword Manipulation: Loading drafts with keywords could raise red flags if published later.

The contents of drafts can certainly matter for SEO if retained in the eventual published version of the post. For example, publishing a draft with exact-match anchor text links could influence internal linking and rankings after going live.

Similarly, if a draft contains extensive keyword repetition and stuffing, these questionable on-page optimization tactics could get published on the live site, potentially harming SEO.

But draft posts themselves do not influence page rankings or appear in SERPs. Only after publishing does the content have the ability to affect SEO, whether positively or negatively.

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What Is a WordPress Draft Post?

What Is a WordPress Draft Post

A draft post in WordPress refers to any post composed in the site’s admin area but not formally published on the live site. 

When you begin writing a new post, by default, you are working on a draft version of the post that is saved to the backend of your WordPress site.

Draft posts are visible only to admins logged into the WordPress dashboard. Regular site visitors cannot access draft content on the front end. 

Drafts essentially exist in a staging area, allowing site editors to work on posts before officially releasing them on the live site.

Unfinished draft posts can be saved repeatedly without publishing them. This allows you to save your progress while working on a draft over time. 

Whenever you are ready, drafts can be published fully on the live site!

Do Draft Posts Appear in Google?

Because draft posts remain unpublished and inaccessible to regular site visitors, they are not crawled or indexed by Google. 

Search engines like Google only process a website’s live, public-facing pages, not unpublished draft content saved privately on the site’s admin side.

Therefore, WordPress drafts do not appear in Google search results at all. They are invisible to Googlebot and other search engine crawlers entirely. 

Google does not know unpublished draft posts exist since they are not publicly findable or linkable yet.

Even though you, as the site admin, can view draft posts when logged into your WordPress dashboard, Google cannot. Search engines cannot access unpublished content or drafts saved in the backend of websites.

So in short, Google and other search engines will never detect or index WordPress draft posts. Drafts only become visible after formally publishing them to your live site.

Are there any Other Considerations for Drafts and SEO?

Regarding unpublished WordPress drafts, the best practice is to avoid over-optimising or stuffing them with keywords that would look unnatural once the post is released live. 

Remember, Google may penalize suspicious SEO tactics published on your site, even if they originated in draft form.

It’s also smart to keep your drafts organized and avoid cluttering your site’s backend with excessive unpublished posts. 

Review drafts and delete any that are outdated, unimportant, or no longer needed. Just because drafts are unpublished does not mean they disappear entirely if forgotten about.

Finally, be aware that some SEO plugins may scan published and draft content after publishing to detect black hat tactics. So avoid overly keyword-stuffed or manipulative drafts that could get your site in trouble.


In summary, unpublished WordPress draft posts do not directly impact your site’s search engine optimization or ability to rank in Google search. 

Drafts cannot influence SEO since search engines cannot access or index draft content saved privately in a site’s backend.

However, drafts may have indirect SEO implications depending on if or when they are published live. Overall, drafts are intended for saving works in progress, not as an SEO tool. 

Avoid keyword manipulation and stuffing in drafts, and focus on crafting high-quality content ready for publishing.

Following ethical SEO practices for both published and unpublished content is the best way to maximize your rankings potential while avoiding penalties. 

With drafts themselves invisible to Google, focus your SEO efforts on posts that are live on your site!

Also Read: 9 Methods to Monetize Your WordPress Website

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