WordPress, a platform lauded for its flexibility and ease-of-use, offers numerous ways to tweak and customize your website to your liking. One such modification is utilizing the noindex tag, which instructs search engines not to index specific pages from your site. Here’s a comprehensive beginner-friendly guide on how to noindex a page in WordPress.
The Importance of Noindex
Before proceeding, it’s important to understand why you may wish to noindex a page. Generally speaking, the noindex tag is used to prevent search engines from indexing pages that may have low-quality or duplicate content, thereby safeguarding your site’s SEO health. Here is a detailed guide on noindex and its importance.
Step 1: Installing Yoast SEO Plugin
The most straightforward method for noindexing a page in WordPress involves using a plugin like Yoast SEO. If you have yet to install it, here is how to do it:
- From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New.
- In the search bar, type “Yoast SEO”.
- Once located, select Install Now, followed by Activate.
Step 2: Noindex a Page or Post
Specifically noindexing a page or post via Yoast SEO is simple, should you not wish all your website content to appear in search engine results. Here’s how to do it:
- Navigate to the page or post you wish to noindex.
- Scroll down until you find the Yoast SEO Meta Box below the post editor.
- Click the “Gear” icon to access ‘Advanced settings’.
- In the ‘Meta robots index’ dropdown, select Noindex.
- Once done, make sure to update or publish your page.
Step 3: Noindex Categories or Tags
Besides individual pages or posts, you might aspire to noindex whole categories or tags. Such need might arise when you have categories or tags with thin or duplicate content. To accomplish that:
- Go to SEO > Search Appearance on your WordPress dashboard.
- Find the tab for the type of content you wish to noindex (e.g., “Categories” or “Tags”).
- Select No for ‘Show in search results?’.
- Remember to hit Save Changes.
How to Confirm a Page is Noindexed
After applying the noindex, it’s critical to verify whether the changes were successful. A handy tool for this task is the Google Search Console URL Inspection tool:
- Copy the URL of the noindexed page.
- Paste it into the search bar of the URL Inspection Tool.
- Under ‘Coverage’, it should read “Excluded by ‘noindex’ tag”.
Using the noindex feature wisely can greatly help to optimize your website for search engines, by controlling which pages crawlers should index and which they shouldn’t. And with Yoast SEO, controlling this becomes a breeze. Always ease into noindexing gradually, continually checking on your site’s performance to ensure it positively affects your SEO.
While noindex is an incredibly handy tool, never overlook the fact that the best way to improve your site’s SEO is producing high-quality, unique content for your visitors. In this way, you might establish a solid, organic search presence, making extensive use of noindex almost unnecessary.
We have seen how a little care and using the right tools can control your website’s SEO and how it appears to search engines. Have fun playing around with these settings and making your WordPress site as effective and efficient as possible!