What Are No-Indexed Pages On a Website?

What Are No-Indexed Pages On a Website?

Google and other search engines all have one very basic thing in common: they function by crawling and indexing URLs from domains. So what exactly is Google’s index, and what does it mean for your website? In short, an index behaves similarly to your local phonebook or directory, but rather than addresses and phone numbers, search engine indexes contain the URLs and content from any given page of the billions currently live on the internet. When a user enters a search query, Google searches through its immense index and, in seconds, provides users with related content that fits the keywords included in their query.

By default, every page you publish on a website is crawlable and indexable by Google and other search engines. This may seem ideal to some; why wouldn’t you want every page you create to be found and read by potential customers? Well, the truth is there are various reasons that you will NOT want specific pages to be indexed and shown by search engines on results pages.

Why Should I No-Index Some Pages On My Website?

No clear-cut formula states exactly what pages should and should not be indexed on your website. Instead, there are numerous factors that weigh on the decision to index or no-index a page, including the page’s content, your site design and navigation, the purpose of your website, and many more. Although there is no rule, per se, on what should be no-indexed, there are a few guidelines to follow that can easily help you determine whether to index a page or not.

Is this page intended for public use?

Many websites feature client-only or employee-only sections that require logins to access. These are important pages that must be live and accessible for users, just not ALL users. The best way to ensure pages like these are only accessed by intended users is through no-indexing them for search engines!

Does this page provide useful information for the average user?

Essentially, every website is developed with the purpose of providing users with information or generating leads and sales. This is done by creating dynamic content that captures users and leads to engaged sessions. However, not every page on a site is built with user experience or conversions in mind, and these pages should almost always be no-indexed. Pages like privacy policy pages, contact submission confirmation pages, and others are valuable for your website but do not provide any information to the average user who finds you on Google. By no-indexing these pages, you can ensure users who find you organically are directed to your strongest content!

How Can I Make Sure My Pages Are Not Indexed?

Fortunately, no-indexing URLs on your website is relatively simple! The first, most traditional, way of no-indexing a page is by inserting the following code in the page’s head:

<META NAME=”robots” CONTENT=”noindex”>

However, other website builders, such as WordPress, offer even easier plugin options that can no-index a page with just one check of a box before publishing a page. To verify that your page is no-indexed, you can simply view a page’s page source and make sure you find <META NAME=”robots” CONTENT=”noindex”> in the page source’s head!

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