September 30, 2020

Noindex a post or page in WordPress, the easy way!

Some posts and pages should not show up in search results. To make sure they don’t show up, you should tell search engines to exclude them. You do this with a meta robots noindex tag. Setting a page to noindex makes sure search engines never show it in their results. Here, we’ll explain how easy it is to noindex a post in WordPress if you use Yoast SEO.

Why keep a post out of the search results?

Why would you NOT want a page to show up in the search results? Well, most sites have pages that shouldn’t show up in the search results. For example, you might not want people to land on the ‘thank you’ page you redirect people to when they’ve contacted you. Or your ‘checkout success’ page. Finding those pages in Google is of no use to anyone.

Not sure if you should noindex or nofollow a post? Read Michiel’s post: Which pages should I noindex or nofollow?

How to set a post to noindex with Yoast SEO

Setting a post or page to noindex is simple when you’re running Yoast SEO. Below your post, in the Yoast SEO meta box, just click on the Advanced tab:

The Advanced tab in the Yoast SEO meta box harbours the indexing options

On the Advanced tab, you’ll see some questions. The first is: “Allow search engines to show this post in search results?” If you select ‘Yes’, your post can show up in Google. If you select ‘No’, you’ll set the post to noindex . This means it won’t show up in the search results.

Select No from the dropdown menu to noindex this post

The default setting of the post – in this case, Yes – is the setting you’ve selected for this post type in the Search Appearance tab of Yoast SEO. If you want to prevent complete sections of your site from showing up in Google, you can set that there. This is further explained in Edwin’s post: Show x in search results?.

Please note that if the post you’re setting to noindex is already in the search results, it might take some time for the page to disappear. The search engines will first have to re-index the page to find the noindex tag. And do not noindex posts frivolously: if they were getting traffic before, you’re losing that traffic.

Were you considering to use the robots.txt file to keep something out of the search results? Read why you shouldn’t use the robots.txt file for that.

Do links on noindexed pages have value?

When you set a post to noindex, Yoast SEO automatically assumes you want to set it to noindex, follow. This means that search engines will still follow the links on those pages. If you do not want the search engines to follow the links, your answer to the following question should be No:

Simply answer No if you don’t want Google to follow links on this page

This will set the meta robots tonofollow, which will change the search engines behavior. They’ll ignore all the links on the page. Use this with caution though! In doubt if you need it? Just check Michiel’s post right here.

Since Yoast SEO 14.4, you can also set individual links to nofollow in the block editor. You can even mark a commercial link as sponsored, which automatically adds a nofollow as well. Simply click on the link and adjust the settings for that particular link.

You can set individual links as nofollow in the WordPress block editor

PS. Did you noindex a post or page in WordPress while you didn’t mean to? No worries, as you can fix an accidental noindex easily!

Read more: The ultimate guide to the meta robots tag »

Original Article

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