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WordPress Robots Meta Tags –

What Does “NO” Mean?


A Picture of SEO

In every WordPress page editor there is a section way down below the editor window called “SEO Details and Additional Style” and in that section is a sub-heading called “Robots Meta Tages” followed by a short list, each with a ‘check box’:

  • noindex
  • nofollow
  • noarchive

The descriptions do not really explain how to use these tags.

A common question is:  “When do I use these Tags effectively?”

They are advance SEO options with very specific instructions to the robots that are sent out by all the search engines of the world.

My goal in this post:  Teach you how to effectively use these tags.  This will be a living post.  As I learn more uses for these tags I will add more information.  So, subscribe to my site, or this post, so you can get the updates!

Let’s Begin:

What are Robots?

These are programs designed to retrieve information from the internet.  They go by names including robots or bots, spiders, and crawlers.  They scour every page, picture, table, movie, chart, links and data added to the internet, everything!   Each time you add “Content” to the internet these robots will visit the new information, however there may be a time delay depending on how frequent new content is added to your site.

You can speed this process up dramatically by properly marketing the content!

 How To Use Each Tag

These tags are used for “training” the robots that come to your pages.

Special Note:  These tags will only work with HTML coded pages.  Don’t worry – WordPress and the Theme “Thesis” are a visual editor overlaying the functional  HTML code that gives it life!

The “noindex” Tag

Tells the robots “NOT” to add this page to the library of pages that can be “searched” at the search engines and visited.

At first, when I was new to blogging, I thought to myself:  Why on earth would I want to tell the bots to ignore my page.  After all, I am trying to rank and get traffic.  People like you!  To visit my page, learn the lessons and knowledge I can teach you and perhaps lock arms and work together as a team!

So, I spent some time learning and discovered these tags have value in special situations.  Here is a list of each:

  1. Avoid “Bloat”.  The meaning of “Bloating” is about the addition of pages or subpages that repeat the same information.  For example:  Having a duplicate page that is “printable”.  Bloating is also about identical sub-page landing pages you may create for your team.
    If you have other examples of “Bloating” that can utilized the “noindex” effectively.  Please share by contacting me!
  2. Keep a page or series of pages “Private”.  The reason is specific to each person.  Mind-you, these pages are still ‘Checked’ by the bots to verify the page still doesn’t want to be indexed.  Also, a few sources indicated that it is possible the bots may ignore this instruction, so I recommend that you take additional steps if you wish to truly have a private page.
  3. Error and Thank-you pages really don’t need indexing, so, this is a great Tag for them.
  4. Squeeze pages and landing Pages.  Specifically, to those using these pages ‘might’ have cause to use this tag.

 The “nofollow” Tag

This Tag is a global instruction to all links on the page that overrides any specific link instruction.  Telling the Robots. “Don’t follow any link off this page!”

When you create a link, the HTML code allows “nofollow” to be added into the coding to instruct the bots not to follow the link off the page.  Even if someone “clicks” the link and leaves your page.

Here is an example of the HTML code behind a link, minus the quotes:
”  <a title=”This is an example Link” href=”” rel=”nofollow”>highlighted words everyone sees</a>   ”
The rel=”nofollow”  tells the bots to stay on the page and omit following this link to it’s destination.  Keeping the Link “Juice” from the search engines.

 It is my recommendation to avoid using this Tag and use the rel=”nofollow” in each of the links that you wish the bots to avoid traveling off your page.  Such needs are to pages you would not wish to send the robots, like squeeze pages, affiliate links, and reference sites to name a few. You want the robots to travel to other pages on your site and other sites you control.

The “noarchive” Tag

This tag tells the bots to “NOT Store your page in any archive” for long term referencing.  This is a fickle tag!  There are mixed reasons why people would want to activate this tag.  The reason I say “fickle” is because this tag only affects the information cached at search engine locations.  It does not effect anyone who repurposes the information into their own ‘spin’.

The big point that really needs to be said:  If you are going to activate this tag, it should be done from the very beginning.  It’s unclear how your page will be removed from any archive if it’s been previously indexed and then the tag is activated!

I hope this helped you!

Kindest Regards,
Johnmark Cooper