Crawl directives

There are multiple ways to tell search engines how to behave on your site. These are called “crawl directives”. They allow you to:

  • tell a search engine to not crawl a page at all;
  • not to use a page in its index after it has crawled it;
  • whether to follow or not to follow links on that page;
  • a lot of “minor” directives.

We write a lot about these crawl directives as they are a very important weapon in an SEO’s arsenal. We try to keep these articles up to date as standards and best practices evolve.


Must read articles about Crawl directives

Ask Yoast: Block your site’s search results pages?

22 May 2017 by Joost de Valk » - 5 Comments

Ask Yoast: blocking search result pages

Every website should have a decent internal search functionality that shows the visitors search results that fit their search query. However, those search results pages on your site don’t need to be shown in Google’s search results. In fact, Google advises against this too; it’s not a great user experience to click on a Google search result, »

Category: Technical SEO
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Block your site’s search result pages

10 May 2017 by Michiel Heijmans » - 14 Comments

block internal search pages

Why should you block your internal search result pages for Google? Well, how would you feel if you are in dire need for the answer to your search query and end up on the internal search pages of a certain website? That’s one crappy experience. Google thinks so too. And prefers you not to have these internal »

Categories: Technical SEO, User eXperience (UX)
Tag:

SEO basics: What is crawlability?

20 February 2017 by Marieke van de Rakt » - 6 Comments

what is crawlability

Ranking in the search engines requires a website with flawless technical SEO. Luckily, the Yoast SEO plugin takes care (of almost) everything on your WordPress site. Still, if you really want to get most out of your website and keep on outranking the competition, some basic knowledge of technical SEO is a must. In this post, »

Categories: SEO basics, Technical SEO
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Ask Yoast: should I redirect my affiliate links?

6 February 2017 by Joost de Valk » - 1 Comment

Ask Yoast stopwords in focus keywords

There are several reasons for cloaking or redirecting affiliate links. For instance, it’s easier to work with affiliate links when you redirect them, plus you can make them look prettier. But do you know how to cloak affiliate links? We explained how the process works in one of our previous posts. This Ask Yoast is »

Category: Technical SEO
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Ask Yoast: nofollow layered navigation links?

30 January 2017 by Joost de Valk » - 4 Comments

Ask Yoast stopwords in focus keywords

If you have a big eCommerce site with lots of products, layered navigation can help your users to narrow down their search results. Layered or faceted navigation is an advanced way of filtering by providing groups of filters for (many) product attributes. In this filtering process, you might create a lot of URLs though, because the user »

Categories: eCommerce, Technical SEO
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How to cloak your affiliate links

24 January 2017 by Joost de Valk » - 11 Comments

cloak affiliate links

We regularly consult for sites that monetize, in part, with affiliate links. We usually advise people to redirect affiliate links. In the past, we noticed that there wasn’t a proper script available online that could handle this for us, so we created one to tackle this problem. In this post, I explain how you can get »

Category: Technical SEO
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Playing with the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header

3 January 2017 by Joost de Valk » - 2 Comments

cloak affiliate links

Traditionally, you will use a robots.txt file on your server to manage what pages, folders, subdomains or other content search engines will be allowed to crawl. But did you know that there’s also such a thing as the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header? Here, we’ll discuss what the possibilities are and how this might be a better »

Category: Technical SEO
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Don’t block CSS and JS files

2 January 2017 by Michiel Heijmans » - 4 Comments

you should not block your CSS and JS files

In 2015, Google Search Console already started to warn webmasters actively not to block CSS and JS files. In 2014, we told you the same thing: don’t block CSS and JS files. We feel the need to repeat this message now. We’re currently working on the websites of our first Yoast SEO Care customers, and this »

Category: Technical SEO
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Crawl budget optimization

5 July 2016 by Joost de Valk » - 3 Comments

crawl budget

What is a crawl budget? Crawl budget is the number of pages Google will crawl on your site on any given day. This number varies slightly from day to day, but overall it’s relatively stable. The number of pages Google crawls, your “budget”, is generally determined by the size of your site, the “health” of your »

Category: Technical SEO
Tag:

robots.txt: the ultimate guide

17 May 2016 by Joost de Valk » - 5 Comments

noindex a post with meta robots noindex

The robots.txt file is a file you can use to tell search engines where they can and cannot go on your site. Learn how to use it to your advantage!

Category: Technical SEO
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