Noindex a post in WordPress, the easy way!

Some posts and pages should not show up in search results. To make sure they don’t show up, you should tell search engines to exclude them. You do this with a meta robots noindex tag. Setting a page to noindex makes sure search engines never show it in their results. Here, we’ll explain how easy this is in WordPress, if you use Yoast SEO.

Why keep a post out of the search results?

Why would you NOT want a page to show up in the search results? Well, most sites have pages that shouldn’t show up in the search results. For example; you might not want people to land on the ‘thank you’ page you redirect people to when they’ve contacted you. Or your ‘checkout success’ page. Finding those pages in Google is of no use to anyone.

Not sure if you should noindex or nofollow a post? Read Michiel’s post: Which pages should I noindex or nofollow?

How to set a page to noindex with Yoast SEO

Setting a post or page to noindex is simple when you’re running Yoast SEO. Below your post, in the Yoast SEO meta box, just click on the advanced tab:

advanced tab yoast seo metabox

On the advanced tab, you’ll see some questions. The first is: “Allow search engines to show this post in search results?” If you select ‘Yes’, you’re post can show up in Google. If you select ‘No’ you’ll set the post to noindex . This means it won’t show up in the search results.

noindex post wordpress yoast seo

The default setting of the post – in this case Yes – is the setting you’ve selected for this post type in the Search Appearance tab of Yoast SEO. If you want to prevent complete sections of your site from showing up in Google, you can set that there. This is further explained in Edwin’s post: Show x in search results?.

Please note that if the post you’re setting to noindex is already in the search results, it might take some time for the page to disappear. The search engines will first have to re-index the page to find the noindex tag. And do not noindex posts frivolously: if they were getting traffic before, you’re losing that traffic.

Were you considering to use the robots.txt file to keep something out of the search results? Read why you shouldn’t use the robots.txt file for that.

Do links on noindexed pages have value?

When you set a post to noindex, Yoast SEO automatically assumes you want to set it to noindex, follow. This means that search engines will still follow the links on those pages. If you do not want the search engines to follow the links, your answer to the following question should be No:

follow links post yoast seo metabox

This will set the meta robots tonofollow, which will change the search engines behavior. They’ll ignore all the links on the page. Use this with caution though! In doubt if you need it? Just check Michiel’s post right here.

 

Read more: The ultimate guide to the meta robots tag »

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12 Responses to Noindex a post in WordPress, the easy way!

  1. Background Changer
    Background Changer  • 5 months ago

    If the category pages are showing excerpts, is “no follow, index” still the best way to go?

    Thanks,

  2. rafaloco
    rafaloco  • 5 months ago

    site might be affected due to missing noindex, follow at subpages

    Ideally, to avoid indexing with duplicate Title, it is recommended to have noindex, follow meta robots attribute.

  3. Mr. KingsHOK
    Mr. KingsHOK  • 5 months ago

    It’s always best to follow links for good indexation of other parts of your website

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 months ago

      Hi Mr. Kingshok, There are cases in which you should nofollow links, but those are the exceptions!

  4. ukrido
    ukrido  • 5 months ago

    After setting up my Yoast SEO, do I need another thing to have my post get to first page of search engines?

  5. Matt
    Matt  • 5 months ago

    This is a great feature. The designer loves creating test pages. So just a simple selection here means it doesn’t affect our rankings

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 months ago

      Glad you appreciate the feature, Matt. Happy testing!

      • Matt Adams
        Matt Adams  • 5 months ago

        Cheers, nice little ‘use case’ too :-)

  6. Raph
    Raph  • 5 months ago

    Nice article. I have always wanted this on my website.

  7. Hareesh
    Hareesh  • 5 months ago

    Hello, I have been using Yoast SEO plugin since years. I really liked the product and planning to Pro version. Where can I find the list of features I will get using Pro version?
    and Also I wanted to ‘nofollow’ all the links on my website. Yoast plugin has this feature?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 months ago

      Hi Hareesh, Glad you like our plugin! You can find all about the Premium version here: https://yoast.com/reasons-to-upgrade/ And about nofollowing all links, perhaps you could do so, but not sure why you would want to do that? Google needs links to crawl your site :-)


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