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When is it Beneficial to Use the Noindex Tag?

Posted on 30-01-2023

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of running a successful website. It’s essential to ensure that search engines can find and index your website’s pages so that they can appear in search results.

However, not all pages on a website are meant to be indexed. That’s where the noindex tag comes in. This meta tag tells search engines not to include a specific page in their index, which can be beneficial for website owners in certain situations.

In this article, we will explore the different scenarios where using the noindex tag can help improve your website’s search engine visibility, and how to implement it correctly.


Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking

First of all, let’s briefly consider how search engines index and rank websites.

Basically, search engines use a process called “crawling” to discover new web pages and add them to their index.

Crawling is done by automated programs called “crawlers” or “spiders” that follow links on a webpage to find new pages. When a crawler finds a new webpage, it retrieves the page’s content and analyzes it to understand the subject and context of the page.

This information is then added to the search engine’s index, making the page discoverable in search results. However, a page’s exact position in search results depends on several ranking factors that have been imputed into the algorithm.

You can determine the status of your page’s ranking by using the Eye10 Rank Checker tool, which tracks your pages along with the keywords you want to rank for.



In any case, to ensure that your site ranks properly on search engines, it is important to first understand how indexing works and why you might not want some pages indexed.


Understanding when to use the noindex tag

Here are some common instances where using the noindex tag can benefit your website’s SEO.

  1. Testing or staging sites: Testing and staging sites are important tools for developers to use when creating and troubleshooting websites. However, these sites should not be indexed by search engines, as they are not intended to be seen by the public.
  2. Login-protected pages: In this case, the noindex tag will make sure that search engines are not able to index any private or sensitive information that might be contained within these pages. This can also help to improve your website’s overall security and protect its users from any potential data breaches.
  3. Low-quality content: Adding the noindex tag to pages that contain low-quality content such as pages with automated content or forum pages with user-generated content protects your website from being penalized by the search engine. It also protects your website’s reputation by ensuring that only the best quality content is seen by those searching.
  4. Pages that are no longer relevant: It is a good idea to use the “noindex” tag on web pages that are no longer relevant, such as old blog posts or product pages that are no longer available. If these pages have been linked to from other websites, using the noindex tag will also ensure that the link juice from those sources is not wasted on irrelevant content. The result is a website that is more efficient and better optimized for search engine visibility.

Besides noindex, other technical details on content analysis could be useful to you. For instance, using the Eye10 On-Page SEO tool can provide you with expert information on items such as XML sitemap, iframe usage, nofollow directive test, and more.



Implementing the Noindex Tag

So, you’ve identified pages on your website that should not be indexed by search engines. How do you go about adding the noindex tag to those pages?

The noindex tag is typically added as a meta tag in the header of the page. The code for the tag looks like this:

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

Note that this method excludes the page from being indexed by all search engines. What if your target is only a specific search engine? This might come in handy because different search engines may interpret noindex tags in different ways. So, you could allow the tag for one search engine but not the other. To exclude a page from being indexed by Google, for example, the code will be adjusted as such:

<meta name=”googlebot” content=”noindex”>

Note the change from ‘robots’ to Googlebot.

An alternative method that achieves the same effect as adding a meta tag to the <head> section of your page is to use the noindex tag in the HTTP header of a page by adding the following:

X-Robots-Tag: noindex

This method is typically used for non-HTML files such as media resources and PDF documents.

Also, you might want to pair up the noindex tag with other indexing-related instructions. This could happen when, say, you want to prevent a page from being followed or indexed at the same time. To achieve this, for instance, the following is what you would add to your header code:

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>

Once you’ve added the noindex tag to a page, it’s important to verify that the tag is being recognized by search engines. You can use a tool like Eye10 On-Page SEO to check the status of a page and see if it has been indexed or not.



When it comes to using the noindex tag, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:



A noindex tag is a powerful tool for website owners who want to have more control over which pages are indexed by search engines. By understanding when and how to use the noindex tag, you can improve your website’s SEO and ensure that search engines are only indexing the pages that are most valuable to users.

To understand how the noindex tag and a wide variety of other factors affect your SEO, using the Eye10 suite of SEO tools will help. It covers all areas of SEO including technical analysis, competitor research, keyword optimization, content analysis, and more. Start your journey to better SEO visibility with Eye10.


Can I use the noindex tag to hide a page from users?

No, the noindex tag only tells search engines not to index a specific page, it does not hide the page from users. Users can still access the page by directly entering the URL into their browser. Therefore, it's best to use the noindex tag in conjunction with a redirect to a relevant and useful page.

How can I track if the noindex tag is impacting my website's search engine visibility?

You can track the impact of the noindex tag on your website's search engine visibility by monitoring your website's search engine rankings and traffic. You can also use analytics tools provided by Eye10 to track specific pages that have the noindex tag and see how they are performing.

Will using the noindex tag negatively impact my website's SEO?

If used correctly, it should not negatively impact your website's SEO. However, if you use the noindex tag on pages that you want to be indexed, it can negatively impact your website's search engine visibility. It is important to use the noindex tag judiciously and consult with an SEO expert if you are unsure about whether or not to use it.

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