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Canonical link/noindex - What is the right solution?

     
3:00 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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One section of my site features quizzes (on a few different topics).

The index page for each individual topic links to its 3 to 5 quizzes. This topic index page also contains the study materials (text) for the quizzes.

The quiz pages themselves would be classified as thin content. They don't really exactly duplicate the content of their topic's index page (study guide materials) but clearly the content is similar.

It seems that I have (sometime in the past) placed a canonical tag on each quiz page (using the URL of that topic's index page). Evidently I have also placed a <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> directive on each quiz page also.

Now I'm not so sure I've implemented things properly.

My goal is simply to state to Google that I realize that the content on the actual quiz pages is thin and very similar to the topic index pages. I don't care that they (the individual quizzes) are not in the Google index. However, I would like any inbound links coming to the quizzes to pass link juice to their topic's index page.

What's the proper way to do this?
8:54 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've got a very parallel situation on one site and I did nothing to try to control indexing (and I'm happy with the results so far - 5 years on.)

If I were going go to do something, I wouldn't bother with the canonical link. I'd use a meta noindex, and open the content area of the questions page with a single big old link that says: "These questions refer to the information at [link]." That's going to circulate link equity in a natural and very effective way.
9:38 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@tedster

If you saw my later post I have some problems with google noindex

I put a month ago <META NAME="robots" content="noindex,follow,noarchive"> and still google index pages that have dup content... sometimes the command site shows me 1040 pages and sometimes 374,

now my site is also penalized (sometimes kws rank 40 and sometimes 72
), I think that is for this reason, so I plan to delete the directory that content this pages and create a new one, blocked and with noindex tag.

What do you think about?

About <META NAME="robots" content="noindex,follow,noarchive"> is correct or need spaces between noindex, follow?

Thanks for your time
10:23 pm on Sept 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You don't need spaces.
12:20 am on Sept 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, so I dont understand what happens... I will delete the directory and copy to a new directory, blocked by robots.txt and with noindex tag.
11:19 pm on Sept 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If you block with robots.txt Google may still list the pages as URL-only entries.

If you block by robots.txt Google will never see the meta noindex tag, because you blocked them from reading the page.

You need ONLY the meta noindex tag.
5:45 am on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You may add more in robots.txt nocache.
3:46 pm on Sept 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Mike, as far as I know there is nothing in the robots.txt standard that allows for any kind of cache control... only crawl control.
 

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