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Noindex: Know What It Is and How to Use It for Your Website

Last updated: Jul 06, 2023

What Is Noindex?

Noindex is a tag used in HTML code to tell search engines that the page does not need to go through the indexing process.

When search engines encounter this tag, they will ignore the page when compiling search results.

The use of this meta tag is very helpful in determining quality content and directories from other pages, which is very important to improving the user experience.

For that, the tag can be used by adding it to the following line of code in the <head> section of the HTML page.

Where is The Tag Located on the Website?

The tag is usually used on pages that don't play a role in determining ranking on search pages, such as:

1. Irrelevant Pages

There are some pages that have no added value in search engines, such as "About Us" or "Privacy Policy".

Therefore, the tag needs to be added to the page so that search engines only display the content that users are looking for.

2. Duplicate Pages

If on the website there are pages that have the same or very similar content to other pages, then the tag needs to be used to avoid duplicating content.

This will help search engines focus on more relevant pages and avoid penalties for duplicate content.

3. Payment Page

This page contains the user's personal information that may not need to be displayed in search results.

This is necessary to protect user privacy and keep sensitive information safe. Therefore, this meta tag can be used on this type of page.

4. Pages Under Development

In the long term, a website must always keep growing for a business to sustain itself. One way is to develop or test new pages to provide a better user experience.

It means that sometimes there are pages that are still under development and are not ready to be visited by users or indexed by search engines.

Therefore, the tag that instructs bots to not index the page needs to be used at this stage.

How to Use Noindex Tag

If used properly, the special tag to instruct bots not to index specific pages can have an impact on website performance. Here's how to use it properly:

1. Insert Noindex Tag on HTML Source Code Pages

The tag can be implemented as a robots meta tag in <head> HTML. The robots meta tag itself is code that has a function to control the crawling and indexing processes.

This meta tag has attribute and value pairs, namely name and content. Name functions to determine the name of the search engine bot, while content contains directions for bots. An example of this tag is <meta name="robots" content="noindex">.

By inserting it into the robots meta tag, search engines will know that the page does not need to be indexed.

2. Added Noindex in the HTTP Header

Apart from adding the tag to HTML pages, you can also implement it using HTTP headers.

HTTP headers are used for communication between server and client (browser or bot crawler). This meta tag will be added to the header via the server configuration file or the relevant plugin.

3. Include Noindex Instructions in the robots.txt File

The robots.txt file is used to provide instructions to search engines regarding which pages and parts of the website are allowed or not allowed to be indexed.

In order not to be indexed, a page must be disallowed in the robots.txt file.

However, sometimes there are situations where pages that have been banned in robots.txt can still enter the search engine indexing process.

Therefore, this tag needs to be added to the page so that search engines can recrawl it to read the latest commands.

4. Applied to Duplicate Content

This meta tag is most commonly used to avoid duplicate content.

The trick is to place this tag in the <head> section of the page that you don't want indexed, so search engines will not automatically process the indexing of the page.

However, if you want to combine duplicate pages on the website, you can use the canonical tag. This tag can instruct search engines to index only the main version of the page.

5. Paying Attention to Its Impact in the Long Term

John Mueller of Google explained that if search engines see this tag on a page for a long period of time, then the page will be removed from the index entirely.

Even the links in it will not be able to enter the crawling process.

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the impact of using this meta tag in the long term.

In addition, it is necessary to periodically evaluate and monitor pages with this tag.

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