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However, it is becoming clear to me that I need a "What We Are NOT" statement on the site. I don't want to be too specific, but it has to do with submission guidelines for people who want to contribute to the site's content.
I have a page with general guidelines, but I was thinking of making a text file with more specific guidelines and promoting it as "downloadable in text format" so people can have their own copy.
Can I stick those "we are NOT blah blah blah" statements in the text file alone and have them NOT be associated with the site in the SERPS?
Just put a <meta name="robots" content="noindex> tag on the page and Disallow that page in your robots.txt file to prevent robots from indexing it, and you won't have to do anything else like using text format, downloading, etc.
Pages are listed in SERPs, not sites. And the keywords go with the page, not the site. Using the on-page tag and the Disallow in robots.txt will keep that page out of the index.
Since I already have a concise guidelines page, I think an extended page in text format is acceptable. I don't know why I never thought to drop it into an excluded directory. What a great idea! :)