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Follow NoIndex (I have a few dupes on my WP website)

5:03 pm on Oct 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from IL 

joined:May 12, 2015
posts: 63
votes: 10

So I just updated my Wordpress website and now I have an issue that a few of the new pages are not stand alone pages. They do not need to be displayed on the front end only as part of other pages.

I also don't want SEs to index these pages. So obviously I want to noindex these pages. What should I do with regards to follow/no-follow. What's the best practice?

Thank you
8:29 pm on Oct 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
votes: 848

Are you asking what to do or how to do it?

"noindex" and "nofollow" are completely independent things. They just happen to go in the same meta. This leads to: are you asking about the links leading to or leading from the noindexed pages?

visible page
leads to
non-indexed page
which in turn may lead to
other visible pages

It may also help to remember* that "nofollow" doesn't mean "pretend you haven't seen this link". It only means "don't tell them I sent you".

* Vague mental association with son at an early age saying "Remember suchandsuch" as a lead-in to some brand-new information that he had never before mentioned, as in "Remember, I won't be home tonight".
7:55 am on Oct 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from IL 

joined:May 12, 2015
posts: 63
votes: 10

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

What I mean is that I remeber reading somewhere that having noindex and do-follow is considered to be a spammy tactic. IS this the case?
11:25 am on Oct 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 30, 2008
votes: 191

I do not think it is a spammy tactic although if you have most of your site noindexed then an eyebrow might be raised.
There is no such thing as "do-follow" meta, this is a default.

Your situation is very common - if a page is framed or displayed as an overlay/lightbox then people usually do not want these pages to be indexed since indexing them would bring a bare page with no header, no footer, no menus etc leading user to nowhere else.

You have three choices here:

  1. you noindex these URLs using <meta name="robots" content="noindex">

  2. you block the access to these pages in robots.txt using Disallow: syntax. Whilst this does not ensure the page will not be indexed, it is highly unlikely Google will show it in SERPs since the way it is presented to the user, it means it is unlikely it will get any external links that will make it to Google page worth showing to visitors. Digging deep into what Google indexed using site:example.com may show this URL if paginating on and on through what Google indexed from your site, but it is pretty certain that the URL will not be shown in SERPs for any kind of non-site: searches.

  3. If it does make sense for visitors to see this page in SEERPs providing it is presented as a "normal" page with header/footer/navigation, then have an url for this page that will present this page like a normal page (or perhaps there is such a page already). In this case use canonical link element to point the overlayed/framed page onto the version of page that shows page in a normal way.

Note: do not use noindex together with canonical, choose one or another.
11:43 am on Oct 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from IL 

joined:May 12, 2015
posts: 63
votes: 10

Thanks dude, great answers here.

Especially for the final note. So I guess my question is when to use canonical and when to use robots.txt?
1:31 pm on Oct 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 3, 2005
posts: 298
votes: 12

Eliminating duplicate content via Robots.txt will prevent Page Rank from external links to the page from being passed. So your next question is why use canonical over 301 redirect to fix duplicate content? Well this depends on other factors such as print view etc...

Good article on Moz: [moz.com...]
1:39 pm on Oct 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from IL 

joined:May 12, 2015
posts: 63
votes: 10

Just read the article and it sorted me out. In my case, canonicals will be most appropriate

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