Categories and tags are integral part of a website that can help visitors to navigate through your entire site content and easily help them get what they’re searching for. A Category gives the proper address of the topic to an article and tags narrow the category list through filtering options. If any user is unable to find a specific article under a category then they might find it using tag search. Both Categories and tags are very useful for a website to have good user experience but they’re not important to display on search results pages in search engines because the design layout of a website may not be optimized enough for category pages and inturn can cause bad effects on search ranking in Google and various other search engines. Here is why to noindex them.
If you have a specific niche site to provide content in specific industry then it is better to Noindex your category pages from search engine results pages since your articles can drive potential traffic to your site from search engines that converts but if your category pages out rank your blog posts then you definitely lose the better conversion rate, sales and money.
Category and tag pages can also create duplicate content issues (if they’re not well optimized) and get your site to be penalized by Google Panda. Despite being the countless drawbacks to get category pages displayed in search engine results pages still there are number of top weblogs, news, magazine and portfolio sites like Mashable, BuzzFeed, Tech Crunch etc. which index their categories in search engine results and their category pages ranks higher for the top competitive search keywords in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
The reason they never got penalized as their category pages are well optimized for search engines and display quite different and modified results than a normal blog post page with proper navigation system, different sidebar content, content layout design etc.
Why it is important to noindex WordPress categories and tags
- Avoid the duplication of the post
- Google mentioned that Google Panda now focuses on quality content.
We all know that the tags and categories pages can’t be considered “quality pages” for search engines. They are good for user-navigation, but they don’t add any value to search engines.
Many WordPress users are not aware of how they can keep WordPress blog tags and categories as “noindex”.
What is noindex means?
When Google spider called as crawler visit a page URL and include that URL into search engine result page which is further said that Google has indexed that URL. So adding a page URL into search engine result page is known as ‘Indexing an URL’.
‘Noindex’ is just opposite to indexing process. When we don’t want a page or URL to be listed in search engine then we made it ‘no index’. When a Google spider (crawler) found a ‘noindex’ link then it is an indication for crawler that this page should not be included in search result page.
How to make wordpress blog categories and tags noindex?
Using robot file
This is the easiest way to set your categories and tags as noindex. Just add below lines in your Robots.txt file (you will find it in your wordpress blog folder in your hosting).
Above lines will stop crawler to crawl your categories and tags.
All in one Yoast Seo plugin– If you go to setting page of your Yoast SEO plugin then you will find option to make your categories and tags noindex.
WordPress Meta Robot– This is another great plugin with easy to use interface. It allows you set your page, post, categories, tags as ‘noindex’.
How to remove indexed Categories and tags from search engine?
What if your categories and tags are already indexed in search result pages. Once you made above changes and created your updated sitemap then submit it to Google (using Webmaster Tool) then Google will de-indexed your categories and tags after some time automatically.
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