Ultimate Guide on noindex and nofollow Meta Tags
Both advertisers and website owners spend a lot of time and money trying to rate their pages high in Google search results. These pages must be indexed and searchable to do this. However, there are certain pages that you can noindex because they have no value or are merely there to comply with the website's rules.
Similarly, Google may or may not follow those links on each page. They can lead to low-quality or poor websites, which can affect your search engine rankings.
Indexing as many web pages as necessary to boost your credibility in search results isn't always a smart option, and following links isn't always a good idea. That's why you should choose which pages to noindex or index with caution.
To increase traffic, we still want as many of your pages and articles to be indexed as possible. So, which pages should be nofollowed or noindexed? Let's go on an adventure together.
What is noindex Page?
The term "noindex" refers to a web page that should not be indexed by search engines and therefore should not appear in the search engine's results pages.
Examples of common noindexing scenarios include (but aren't really restricted to):
- You don't want to erase low-quality or "weak" pages.
- Pages that you don't want web visitors to land on because they were generated for other marketing reasons, such as web versions of email marketing, social media landing sites.
- Any webpage you choose to keep hidden from the general audience such as a page that only those with a special URL can access.
- Forum pages, which is user-generated content.
This tag is included in the header section of a page's HTML to inform search engines that the page should not be indexed. Insert the robots meta tag in the following section of the page:
<!DOCTYPE html> <html><head> <meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> (…) </head> <body>(…)</body> </html>
The addition of the attributes "robots" to the meta name means that this meta tag is applicable to all crawlers. If you wish your pages to be noindexed by a particular crawler, such as Google, make the following changes to the tag:
What is nofollow URL?
The term "nofollow" refers to the fact that search engine spiders do not follow the links or URLs on the website.
Both attributes can be added to the robots meta tag.
What is Robots Meta Tag?
The robots meta tag is a line of code in a web page's heading section. It instructs search engines on how to crawl and index a website.
If you want to learn more about the robots meta tag, our comprehensive guide is a great place to start.
In most situations, the robots meta tag looks like this:
By default, attribute1 and attribute2 are configured to index, follow, indicating that the current page can be indexed by search engines and that links on that page can be followed to crawl the pages to which they refer.
What are the differences between noindex and nofollow?
Both 'noindex' and 'nofollow' are meta tags that can be attached to a webpage's HTML source code. These meta tags are intended to communicate directly with the search engine bots that crawl the web pages.
The 'noindex' tag instructs search engines to crawl but not index or list the page in search results. The default setting for a web page is “index.” You can alter the attribute in the robot meta tags if you want to delete or conceal a website from search engines. It gives you more controlling power about which pages appear in the SERPs.
The nofollow attribute tells search engines that the pages you linked to are not relevant. While links are important for SEO, only external links from reputable and influential websites, as well as internal links, can help your site gain reputation and rank higher. Search engine rankings are relatively unaffected by nofollow ties that don't pass the PageRank juice.
Why You May Need noindex Pages ?
If your websites, blog entries, and landing pages aren't indexed or followed, then there is a possibility to lose a significant amount of traffic. That is why the majority of website owners do not want noindex or nofollow pages. They constantly check to see whether search bots are crawling and indexing their web pages.
There are a variety of reasons why you would like to keep those sites from being indexed by Google. Let's take a look at the two most important reasons why you should shield your sites from Google's indexers.
1. Avoid duplication of content.
A portion of the content may exist in several copies. Allowing Google to index all of these sites is a waste of time.
2. Keep classified Content secure.
Some of the pages should not be freely discovered and accessed on Google search pages if they contain confidential content and products. It's important to keep them hidden from Google's gaze.
Why You May Need nofollow Links?
Noindex pages and nofollow URLs are also useful in some situations. Because it can drive traffic from other referral sites. Besides this you will get the following benefits from nofollow URLs:
1. Defend your blog from spammers
Spammers frequently use the comment page to leave links to their websites. While nofollow links can not eliminate spam, they will discourage spammers from targeting your web.
What are spammers' primary motivations for leaving links on your blog's comment section? They'll use the clicks of your customers to boost their traffic and score higher in Google. When using nofollow links then their links are no longer taken into consideration when measuring PageRank.
2. Increase the Number of Visitors to Your Website
Keep in mind the links aren't only beneficial for SEO. Nofollow links will increase your website's traffic and help you optimize your business, brand recognition, or service. A good and quality link does serve as a hub for visitors to access your content. If a visitor considers your content useful, he or she will share it in their blog posts. As a result, nofollow links can be seen to implicitly refer to followed links.
3. Keep Track of Your Link Juice.
Link juice is a ranking factor used by search engines to describe the strength of links between websites. Since a powerful page can delegate power to the links on its content, you must ensure that only important links receive the page's authority.
Pages that Should be Marked as noindex
Low-value content, or blog content you don't want users to reach in a search result, should be noindexed. A noindex tag keeps a webpage available for your audience to access on your website, but it doesn't impact your site's authority, and visitors won't be able to reach it with a search query.
1. Author Archives Page On a Single Author Blog
If you're the only person who contributes to your blog, your author pages are almost certainly identical to your blog's homepage. This is irrelevant to Google and may be recognized as duplicate content. You may opt to disable the author archive completely to avoid repetitive content.
You will noindex it if you want to keep it on your homepage just out of the search results unless for some reason.
2. WooCommerce's Standard Product Pages
A plugin or a web developer could create a custom post form that you don't want indexed. As a result, we noindex WooCommerce's standard product pages and instead use our own. The product post type is also noindexed.
In a similar vein, we've seen eCommerce solutions that provide measurements and weight as a custom post form. These pages are viewed as having poor quality content. You'll see that these pages are useless to both visitors and Google, but they can be left out of the search results pages as well.
3. Thank-You Page
The page's real objective is to express gratitude to your client, newsletter reader, or first-time commenter. These are normally small content pages with upselling and social sharing options. but those page has little benefit for those looking for facts on Google. As a consequence, certain pages do not appear in the search results.
Users only get to see the thank-you page after acting what you would like them to do. If visitors can find this page via Google Search, you're not only giving away the most useful content for free, but you're also risking losing all of your site's analytics.
4. Pages for Admin and Log In
Since admin and authenticated users typically login via direct URLs, these pages are automatically noindexed. Exceptions may in different login pages that support a community, such as Mediafire and Dropbox.
5. Your Own Website's Internal Search Results
When visitors see this page on the SERPs, it will spoil their search experience. Instead of receiving the information, they will conduct a new search. It may be shown as a Blogger search widget, WordPress search widget or a WooCommerce product search bar.
However, the links on a search result page are also very significant, and you want Google to pay attention to them. To configure internal search results all URLs should be followed, and the robots meta setting should be:<meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow">
6. Pages Dedicated to Community Profiles
75 percent of the pages of Moz's website were deindexed? Britney Muller previously discovered that community profile pages containing inactive or spammy accounts with poor backlinks accounted for over 56 percent of indexed pages. The website saw an increase in traffic when they agreed to noindex group profile URLs below 200 points. The example demonstrates the importance of excluding irrelevant profiles from search engine results pages.
7. Pages with Attachments
When you add a file to WordPress, it will generate a new attachment tab. Google, predictably, indexes and displays these websites, which are largely void but for an illustration and a few words of information.
Pages that Should be Set to nofollow
There is no need to follow all links on these pages with all of the examples listed above. You don't expect them to appear in the search results, but you would like Google to follow the page's links. When can a nofollow attribute be added to the robots meta tag?
Unless you configured a robot meta tag to nofollow a page, no links are followed on this page. To discern between links and untrusted contents, Google has nofollow including 'or', 'later on', 'paid for', 'advertisements'. There are probably a few sites on the regular list that you would like Google to track.
1. Active Links in Blog’s Comments
Blog comments often contain active links that are useless and can lead to malicious websites. You must balance the control with the important websites when posting the links to your blog. Note that it would be poor if your website is linked to untrusted links or websites and is indexed on all links of your content.
After this link is set to "nofollow," without irrelevant comments, you can help promote the topic. Giving no SEO values links in tweets, spammers will no longer bother to do so.
2. Sponsored Internal Links
Normally, you monetize your blog by including paid ads on its pages. You can include logos or links to sponsors' websites and be compensated for referral traffic from your audience. Even so, you must tell Google that the material is paid for and that you are not responsible for any websites that are connected to. Moreover, those links do not affect your SEO or rankings.
In this case, nofollow links tend to be a sensible choice. By providing useful URLs for the user and transferring traffic, you're also making money from those pages. You can have a look at below Example.
3. Links that are Suspicious and Manipulative
Google prefers websites with simple navigation and easy-to-understand URLs. This means it will concentrate on providing useful information to its bots as they navigate the web.
When a link's content is unrelated to yours or comes from shady outlets, you can add a nofollow meta tag to it.
You can do this by adding the appropriate rel attributes to your link. A link to an advertisement, for example, would appear like this:
How to add a “noindex” and/or a “nofollow” meta tag on Blogger Theme?
The first step in adding a noindex and/or nofollow tag is to copy the required tag.
As a consequence, a search engine would no longer have your website on the pages. By altering the robots.txt file, you can prevent several pages from being crawled.
What is robots.txt and How Can I Get My Hands On It?
Robots.txt is a text file that webmasters may use to inform search engine robots how they want their pages crawled and which links they want to be followed.
Robots.txt files basically tell web crawling software whether or not it is permitted to crawl specific sections of a website.
You can “nofollow” different web pages at once by viewing your site's robots.txt file from Blogger Dashboard.
First and foremost, check whether or not the website has a robots.txt file. To find out, go to the website and look for “robots.txt.”
Contrary to popular belief the noindex and nofollow tags do not affect your site's visibility in search results. Ask yourself two questions before you start worrying about how to index your pages: If you want this page to appear in Google's search results? Should search engines be able to follow any of the links on this page?
The response to the first question is "no" for "thank you" or "login" pages, for instance. The response to the second question is “no” for a website with a lot of affiliate links. Remember the examples from this page, and you shouldn't have any trouble agreeing on the answers for your blog!
The noindex tag suggests that pages be removed from the search engine's index of publicly accessible pages. The nofollow tag prevents Google from transferring link juice through a webpage's links.
Only related pages are ranked, and high-quality links are analyzed by Google. Make sure you're serving the important content and links that will help you to improve your search results and connect your target audience.
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Till than stay tune.