Ask Yoast: Why is the post type ‘media’ noindex in Yoast SEO?

Both the free and the Premium Yoast SEO plugin come with several default settings. We’re all about sensible default settings! So, we’ve put a great deal of thought into setting these defaults, to make sure they’re right for most users. Still, it’s understandable that people get confused, for example when they see that ‘media’ won’t be shown in the search engines. Why do we noindex these attachments on your site?

The last thing you want is to have all the media on your site invisible to your users. Of course, we don’t want that either, and won’t let that happen. So let me explain here why ‘media’ is set to noindex by default in the Search Appearance section of Yoast SEO and what that means.

Jez emailed us this question, something we actually get asked more often:

“Yoast SEO sets the post type media to noindex by default in Search Appearance. Why is this? Will my images still display correctly?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Post type ‘media’ noindex in Yoast SEO

“There’s this weird thing in WordPress where, if you upload an image, not only does it allow you to embed the image in the post, it also automatically creates a page for that image on your site. This is the media post type.

So now that single image has its own page and the content on that page is very thin, because the only thing on that page is that image and maybe the alt text that you put in there, but there’s nothing else on that page. So this is thin content. That’s why we noindex it by default because there is really no reason to have that indexed by Google and to make sure that that thing ranks. So that’s why we do that, we like sensible defaults like that.

Of course, if you have very large media pages that have a lot more than just the image by all means set it to index, that’s why you can change it. Good luck!”

Note: since our 7.0 update you can find ‘media’ in a seperate tab under search appearance > media. If you want to read more about what to show in the search results and what to include in your XML sitemap, and how to accomplish that, check out this article: Indexing in Yoast SEO

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

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