Have you just set up a new WordPress blog? From version 2.0x+ and up, a number of features either were enhanced or added to this great blogging platform. Privacy is one such feature – though I’m not sure exactly which version it appeared in (possibly 2.04), but the latest version at the time of writing is 2.2, and it’s present.
While privacy has been available in one form or another for WP (WordPress) blogs for a while, the current form makes it very simple to block search engines. There are different reasons for this. Some bloggers like to block search engines from their new WP blog until they’ve added X number of posts. I usually set X to 10.
Anyway, whatever reason you have, you can block search engines fairly easily in newer versions of WordPress. (Of course, you can still add a password to each post in order to block everyone out.)
The SplashCast video below shows you the new way. Note that when the privacy setting allows search engines, the Update Services section at the bottom of the Writing Options page will be visible, and the default is pingomatic. In the video, I use http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2 and http://ping.blo.gs/ for the pinging/update service. I do not have conclusive evidence, but I feel these seem to give me more traffic sooner than the default.