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Blocking AMP pages

Combining canonical and meta noindex tags

     
4:44 am on Jul 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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On one section of our site, we switched from responsive design to an AMP-default (page is AMP with a desktop responsive version).

This section auto-generates thousands of product pages, when a page has few results (low quality page), we block it with a meta robots noindex.

A valid AMP page must have a canonical tag. And Google has repeatedly recommended not to use canonical and meta robots noindex tags on the same page.

Also, adding a noindex tag to AMP pages triggers a warning in GSC.

So, we how do we block the low quality AMP pages from Google's index?
5:16 am on July 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Two questions -
On the desktop version are you linking to the AMP equivalents with the <link rel="amphtml" meta tags?
On the AMP pages are you linking to the desktop equivalents with the <link rel="canonical" meta tag?

If so, you should not need to noindex the thin AMP pages, let Google decide whether to index or not. If the thin AMP pages include a large number of pages, it might be worthwhile to auto-generate additional related content. That's not always possible, but it depends on the relative number of low results to normal results whether it is a major problem worth fixing. If it is dozens among thousands I would not worry.
4:26 am on July 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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These are AMP pages with a desktop responsive version, so there is no desktop equivalent. The AMP page is for mobile and desktop users.

There are many of these thin pages, adding content to them is not feasible. The ratio between low to high quality pages is big enough to keep us worried.