There is no limit and I have not heard of G having an issue with noindex whatsoever.
|I feel the content is not up to the quality of the rest of the website, and may be affecting my rankings adversely. |
In my opinion, unless most of this is duplicate content, putting noindex tags on the pages might do more harm than good.
Because if this content is related to what is on the rest of the site, it may be helping the rankings of the other pages, not hurting them.
The majority of the pages have not been indexed or already dropped probably because of the low quality. The content is not duplicate, and also relates to the rest of the site.
The traffic to the section I want to noindex hasn't really increased over the last three years, even as the content increases. Also just this year the traffic throughout the rest of the site has started to level off. Maybe the section in question is soaking up PageRank that could benefit the rest of the site?
Could you elaborate a little bit on what you mean by low quality, since you mentioned that they do not contain duplicate content.
Would it make more sense to remove those pages entirely and set up a new site with a relevant domain name and put them on that site? Then 301 those pages to the new site?
Or, how about changing your internal navigation so that they are more interlinked to one another (assuming they are all on more or less the same subject) and then only having one clear linking path into it from the rest of the site?
I really think that the internal linking structure on that encyclopedia site that starts with the word wiki plays a big part in why they rank so well (and why users like them so much).
The content is user-written blogs, whose quality vary from the rare, useful tutorial to the more common one-paragraph of text about something that happened during the day. Looking at it from the eyes of a search engine bot I can see why they would not index the less useful content.
I guess my aim is to present to the search engines the more useful content on the site and steer them away from the less useful content.
|Maybe the section in question is soaking up PageRank that could benefit the rest of the site? |
Putting noindex tags on these pages will not prevent them from soaking up pagerank. To do that, you need to remove the internal links that point to these pages.
I'm testing how values google internal links and
external links using meta noindex/follow .
The result was a surprise,
If the link points to domain with low PR, Google doesn't count this link (the anchor text of the link not ranking in Google)
If the link points to domain with high PR, Google counts this link (the anchor text ranking in Google)
If the link is a internal link, Google doesn't counts the link
I'm doing more tests to make sure
About noidex/follow canonical and robots.txt in Google Webmaster forums
Thanks all for your input. This has given me plenty of food for thought.
Imagine you have a beautiful garden (your website), with lovely flowers and a pristine lawn (good content). But there's an old car restoration project with an oil leak parked on it and a bunch of old tyres and broken car parts in one corner (low quality content).
You have your new fiance's parents who are very well to do (Google) coming to visit and it's important to make a good impression. You would move/hide the car and try to clean up the rest of the mess (no-index). Because you know that they would only see the old car and parts, not the flowers etc, and remember you by that.
But Google isn't like your fiance's parents. It won't judge you that you're no good because you aren't perfect. Google will see the pretty garden and it won't disregard that just because of some oil stains and junk in one corner.
If pages/content are no good, they're effectively ignored (not indexed or classed as supplemental results). imo you're much more likely to harm your site by mass-no indexing, unless the pages are duplicates or doing things that are black hat or spam/seriously off topic (ie viagra spam).
Thanks milosevic for your entertaining and informative post. I have been reflecting on it for the past few days, and I decided not to noindex the pages after all. When stepping back to see the big picture, mass noindexing would not make sense.