How to Apply a Noindex Tag

event

Published

event_available

Updated 12/2/2023

Find the step-by-step process for applying a noindex tag to your webpage. This guide helps you prevent search engines from indexing specific pages.

apply noindex tag cover - no entry sign

First off, a noindex tag is a meta tag directive that webmasters can place in the HTML code of a web page to indicate to search engines that the specific page should not be indexed.

In other words, when search engine crawlers encounter this tag on a page, they will not include that page in their search results.

How to Add a Noindex Tag

Here’s the full process, with options for different platforms:

Using The Noindex Tag Code

The end goal is to get this tag in the <head> section of the page.

Copy this code to paste it into the head of your page:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

Using HTML Meta Tags

To add a noindex tag using HTML meta tags, follow these steps:

  1. Open the HTML file of the web page you want to add the noindex tag to.
  2. Locate the <head> section of your HTML file.
  3. Add the following meta code to the <head> section:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

Save your changes and upload the updated HTML file to your server.

In WordPress

Using WordPress, you can add a noindex tag to your web page using a plugin like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack. Follow the plugin’s documentation for instructions on how to add a noindex tag to a specific page.

Other Methods

Many content management systems (CMS) offer built-in support or plugins for adding noindex tags to web pages.

Please consult your CMS’s documentation or support forums for guidance on adding a noindex tag.

Result

This is what happens if you correctly apply a noindex tag to a web page:

  1. Exclusion from Search Engine Results: The specific page with the noindex tag will not appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) of search engines that respect the tag (like Google, Bing, etc.).
  2. Crawling Continues: It’s crucial to understand that the noindex directive does not stop search engine crawlers (like Googlebot) from visiting or crawling the page. It only instructs the search engine not to include that page in its index. So, while the content won’t appear in search results, search engines are still aware of its existence.
  3. Deprecation Over Time: If a page was previously indexed and you add a tag, the page won’t immediately disappear from the search results. Depending on the search engine’s crawling frequency for your site, it might take some time. Once the search engine crawler revisits the page, detects the noindex tag, and processes it, the page will eventually be dropped from the search index during subsequent updates.
  4. No Link Equity Passed: If you’ve combined noindex with the nofollow directive (i.e., <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">), then the search engines will not only exclude the page from their index but also not follow the links on that page. This means the page will not pass any link equity to linked pages.

Correctly applying a noindex tag ensures that the specific page won’t appear in search engine results but doesn’t stop search engines from crawling the page. If you want a page neither indexed nor crawled, you’d need to combine the noindex directive with appropriate rules in the robots.txt file.

Topics

Get Powerful Templates

Streamline your content management
with dynamic templates and tools.