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What does Google do with pages tagged as noindex?



11:01 am on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

My suspicious is that Google sees them all.
Even when you no-index pages, they are crawled and saved in G memory. Nothing to hide from their eyes if it's online. Of course, no-index means no-ranking but the questions are:
1. Are these pages perceived as empty pages?

2. Does Google takes it into consideration when ranking a site (say amount of no-indexed pages)?

Most importantly, when these pages are finally indexed, do they start from the lowest level of ranking, getting a "hard time climbing up the ladder" or do they considered fresh?


4:16 am on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Pages that have a noindex meta tag or x-robots tag are still fully crawled - the content just does not show in the SERPs.

In practice, I have never seen evidence that the number noindex URLs directly affects the ranking of indexed URLs. Theoretically I can see that a large percentage of noindex URLs could create a problem. I've never worked with a site where the percentage of noindex pages was high at all, so I can't say for sure.

From the experience of several sites who tried noindexing some URLs while to cope with Panda, once the noindex was removed, good ranking wasn't immediate but it also didn't seem to be as slow as a brand new page might be. For example, in one case decent search traffic appeared after three weeks or so. Obviously, YMMV but I don't foresee any absolute barrier here.


6:28 am on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the answer. It gives me some more insights.
I've just seen a post written by mutt cutts on "What should NO-INDEX do: Google no-index behavior. "
see- [mattcutts.com...]
It answers some of my questions.
1. These pages are crawled and the content is kept.
2. Overall ranking? In a way.
3. No real answer.

However, based on what I learned - a bad url is a dead url.
You don't have a good chance to rank a bad url higher if it has started badly even if you improved it, no matter if it was indexed or not.

We are starting a site from scratch experimenting some things (that can't be done offline) and the question of no-indexing raised.


6:47 am on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If you don't want Google reading a page, block it in robots.txt, not with NOINDEX.

If you fear Google will attempt to read the page anyway, there are scripts that enforce robots.txt and physically block the spider from crawling where it's not permitted in robots.txt

If Google still gets the page after all that, they are crawling as something other than Googlebot.


6:53 am on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm not sure what % tedster means when he says 'not high' but a few years ago I worked on a site with somewhere around 15,000 pages and there were times I had about 30% of it noindexed and it actually ranked better, but I'm not the final say any more, so I can't put it back that way to see if I can increase the rankings again.


12:28 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

- noindex means just that, don't index this page. Google still crawls it, assigns it pagerank and passes that rank to pages linked from it so you need to use it in the right situations.

As incredibill said, if you don't want it crawled give it a robots.txt exclusion BUT KNOW THAT IT WILL BE INDEXED and given a "this page was blocked by robots.txt" description in search results. robots.txt just stops crawling of the content, not indexing of the page.

If you don't want a page indexed because it has links on it that you don't approve of, use the nofollow tag on those links.

If you don't want the page associated with your site because it's off topic or contains questionable material then opt for the nofollow meta tag so no links, not even your internal links, count as a vote. This is great for paid reviews!

What exactly is on the page you have questions about?

menntarra 34

10:45 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

well then what is better when you deal with pagination on a page, where all other pages are nearly the same(so can be judged as duplicates): block with robots.txt or use noindex tag, or both?
And back to tedsters opinion: in this situation i can't think that noindexing thousands of these duplicate paginated pages have any affect on ranking of the other pages of the site. While they still be useful for users who are looking for somethine. For example i'm talking about a search of a website, where you can search for articles, and the result is of course paginated.


5:06 am on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I more or less get to the point.
What exactly is on the page you have questions about?

Most of these pages are sales landing pages, with some links from other sites pointing to them and some outbound links. We're testing formats, layouts, wording, buttons, structure etc.
Several of them will be selected after completing this testing session.

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