How do I noindex URLs?

In some cases, you’d like to keep some posts or pages out of the search results. For example, your internal search results pages or your admin or login pages. You can read more about why you should noindex some posts and pages here. Yoast SEO provides multiple options for setting a URL or group of URLs to noindex. Here, you can read how to do this for various types of content.

A warning upfront: Setting pages, posts or your site to noindex might have serious consequences for your rankings. So make sure you know what you’re doing! First, carefully determine which URLs you’d want to set to noindex.

Here’s a list of content types you can set to noindex with Yoast SEO:

We’ll discuss these types and how to noindex them below.

Individual posts, pages, media or taxonomy items

The advanced section in the Yoast SEO meta box on the edit screen of the item allows administrators and editors to set custom robots information like noindex, nofollow, and other advanced robots settings.

If you don’t want to noindex an individual post, set the setting ‘Allow search engines to show this … in the search results?’ to ‘No’.

To allow authors access to this tab, go to SEO->General->Features and toggle the `Security: no advanced settings for authors` to ‘Off’.

The layout may vary as the example above is from a default post type.

Noindex an individual news article

The Yoast News SEO plugin includes the ability to tell Google News not to index a specific news article. This option is found under the plugins section of the meta box in the ‘Google News’ tab. Learn more about using the News SEO plugin in this article.

Yoast SEO Metabox : Plugins Tab - Googlebot-News index

Noindex post types, categories, tags or other taxonomies

If you want to noindex a group of items, enable this feature using the steps below. By default, search pages and 404 pages will be set to noindex, follow.

  1. Log in to your WordPress website.

    When you’re logged in, you will be in your ‘Dashboard’.

  2. Click on ‘SEO’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘SEO’.

  3. Click on ‘Search Appearance’.

    The ‘SEO’ settings will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Search Appearance’.

  4. Select the tab that represents the content types, taxonomy or archive type you wish to exclude from the search results.

    We explain more about the Search Appearance settings and the different tabs here.

  5. Toggle the ‘Show XYZ in search results?’ switch.

    To index the content, toggle the switch to ‘Yes’. To noindex the content, toggle the switch to ‘No’.

    toggle switch categories

  6. Click ‘Save Changes’.

Noindex subpages of archives

Google has gotten much better at paginated series, so this feature has been removed from Yoast SEO.

Noindex an entire site

Alternatively, you can noindex the entire site but it’s up to search engines to honor this request. We explain how to noindex an entire site in this article.

Noindex individual author pages

It’s also possible to noindex individual author pages. Read this article on how to noindex individual author pages to find out how.

What about nofollow tags?

Nofollow tags are similar to noindex tags, as we describe in this article on meta robots tags. Nofollow tags tell search engines not to pass value through the links on that page. You can assign a nofollow tag to a post by clicking on the Advanced section of the Yoast SEO meta box on the page. There, select ‘No’ for ‘Should search engines follow links on this post. Selecting ‘No’ will output a nofollow tag for the URL.

The default is ‘Yes’, so by default, search engines follow links on posts and pages. This feature is not available on taxonomies like categories and tags and only works on the URL of the post/page. It will not add a nofollow tag to the links embedded in it.

If you are not sure if you should or should not use a noFollow please refer to this guide: Which pages should I noindex or nofollow?

Yoast SEO metabox with the follow option selected