Control where search engines go and what they’re allowed to index

  • Preventing individual posts or pages from showing up in Google’s index
  • Noindex a category, tag or custom taxonomy at once
  • Avoid duplicate content by noindexing the author archives
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It may sound surprising, but not all pages on your website help you rank. Certainly, the pages that help your visitors and answer their questions are your SEO superstars. But some content does not belong on the search results pages. So what can you do?

Yoast SEO lets you talk to search engines. With the flip of a switch, you can tell them which URLs they should exclude from the search results (noindex). And, you can also prevent search engines from valuing links on a page (nofollow).

Why do I need to tell search engines what to do?

You want to make your audience and search engines happy, right? You can do that by critically evaluating your pages, and excluding those with no value from the search results. In Yoast SEO you get the power to decide what search index, which directly influences your audience’s experience!

✅ Gain site wide control of the search appearance of your content

Choose which taxonomies to include or exclude

Category and tag archives can serve as landing pages and help your rankings. In fact, adding rich content to these types of pages can make them some of your best pages! But sometimes, you might want to noindex these pages. Yoast SEO lets you do that with the flick of a switch. 

Keep date archives out of search engines

If your website uses dates in the URLs, you probably have lots of low-value pages. Each date, month, and year contains largely duplicate content and provides little value to the user as a landing page. They can be helpful for navigation and discovery, but, usually shouldn’t be indexed by search engines. With Yoast SEO you can keep these pages for user navigation, but prevent Google from indexing them.

Fix single author websites

If your website only has one author or user, then chances are, your author archive pages are just a copy of your home page. Search engines might view that as duplicate content, and that can hurt your rankings. Yoast SEO lets you noindex your author archives, so they are out of sight for search engines and users! 

Noindex other content types

In Yoast SEO you can set noindex as a default for posts, pages, or other types of content. For example, if you use WooCommerce of some of our other plugins, you might have additional content types like product or location pages.

✅ Decide what happens to individual posts and pages 

What do a login page and a ‘thank you’ page have in common? They both have no SEO value. The best course of action is to remove such pages from search engines.

What about posts? You might want to noindex old posts which need some extra work. A noindex tag can come in handy until you update the post and make it ready to stand proudly on the search results page.

✅ Let Yoast SEO control the technical stuff in the background

Yoast SEO works hard behind the scenes to facilitate the dialogue between your site and search engines. In our developer documentation, you can learn more about how we manage and generate meta robot tags.

How do index and nofollow work in Yoast SEO?

When you are certain that you want to add noindex or nofollow directives to a page, Yoast SEO lets you do it in a few clicks.

Site-wide controls

In the search appearance settings of Yoast SEO, you can access the site-wide settings that allow you to control the indexing defaults for each of your content types. It’s a matter of switching a toggle on or off!

Search appearance snippet variables

Individual posts and pages

To nofollow of noindex individual posts or pages, head to the Advanced tab of the Yoast SEO Meta box. Again, here, all you need to do is select a few radio buttons, and you are good to go!

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