Category Archives: noindex

WordPress Pagerank flow considerations

Matt Cutts in a recent interview said that Google does allow PageRank to flow through noindex pages. If you have pages on your wordpress install that add little value to your readers and you’d like to prevent them from being indexed, then you might want to take that into account.

Eric Enge: Can a NoIndex page accumulate PageRank?

Matt Cutts: A NoIndex page can accumulate PageRank, because the links are still followed outwards from a NoIndex page.

Eric Enge: So, it can accumulate and pass PageRank.

Matt Cutts: Right, and it will still accumulate PageRank, but it won’t be showing in our Index. So, I wouldn’t make a NoIndex page that itself is a dead end. You can make a NoIndex page that has links to lots of other pages.

(emphasis mine)

He goes on to talk about sitemaps to illustrate the example, which is very useful as ultimately, if you want search engines to index your stuff, then you probably want them to index the stuff you actually write and talk about rather than some random page that just has lots of links to your stuff.

I’ve done a quick and dirty mod to my head theme using is_archive and is_category wordpress functions as I’m not realy interested in my archives and cats being indexed. It’s my content that I’d like people to read and have the most ranking juice applied to.

Anyhow, if you add this to your header.php file in your WP theme, then it will do the job. You can make it googlebot specific or replace the word googlebot with the word robots. Do bear in mind however, that other search engines may not apply such directives in similar ways, so you might just want to stick with the googlebot approach.

<?php if (is_category() or is_archive()) {?>
<meta name=”googlebot” content=”noindex, follow”>
<? }?>

This says to googlebot, do not index this page but follow the links within it. Just open up your theme and put it after the </title> tag line wich can be found inside the <head> section of the html.

Whats the point in doing all of this?

Why am I doing this? Does it even matter?

In a world where lots of people talk about similar things, it is sometimes the small things that make the difference between getting seen or not. This for me, is one of those small things that might make a difference. It’s an experimental thing too. Currently a site:yackyack.co.uk search at Google shows a lot of pages for this domain which really just shouldn’t be there, or lets just say add little value in the grand scheme of my yackyack.co.uk world. It’ll be interesting to see in however long a period whether this little tweak makes any difference to referrals or rankings for desired keyterms.

You’ll lose longtail referals

A downside is, that I’ll get less referrals for long tail searches.
If you look at a typical cat or archive page you’ll see that its full of snippets and titles which when read in their whole make little sense. To a bot that saw these as individual pages, it could well return them for obscure queries, simply because of a certain mix of words that is purely accidental. In most cases, I’d question the value to both me and the reader.

From a grab the traffic and do what you can with it perspective, it’s a different thing entirely and if such an approach is important to you then I really wouldn’t do this.

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