Yoast SEO: robots meta configuration

  • 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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Whether you want to keep a single post or page out of the index, or you prefer to keep entire sections of your site unfindable: the Yoast SEO plugin has your back. For each post, page, taxonomy page or archive you can choose whether you want it 1) to be indexed, 2) to be followed. If you choose noindex, Google won’t add this page to the index. If you choose nofollow, Google won’t follow the links on that page.

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Why noindex a page or a part of your site?

Some pages of your site you don’t want Google to index. You might have pages on your site that shouldn’t show in the search results because of legal reasons. Or you don’t want Google to index pages with thin or low quality content that really need an update. Another page you might want to noindex is your author archive if you just have 1 author. Because, in that case, your author archive will show the exact same posts as your blog archive, which causes duplicate content. You can do all this with the Yoast SEO plugin. Read on to learn how to do this!

We think you should keep some pages for sure out of the index, for example your internal search results pages. Therefore Yoast SEO does this by default.

How to set noindex or nofollow?

You can set this on a site wide basis, indicating whether you want a certain post type or taxonomy to be indexed. Or you can set it for an individual post, page or taxonomy, with help of the Yoast SEO meta box.

Site wide settings for meta robots

It’s possible to noindex posts, pages, media, date archives, categories, tags and subpages of archives on a site wide basis. You can do so in the Titles & Metas section of Yoast SEO. In this video Joost shows how to noindex certain post types in the Post types tab. You can do the same for archives or taxonomies in the respective tabs:

As shown in the video you can easily set all your posts to noindex, just by moving the purple bar to noindex. This means that none of your posts will be added to the index. Beware that in most cases you wouldn’t want to do this for all your posts though!

how to set noindex for posts

Single post or page configuration

In the Yoast SEO meta box, under the “advanced” button, is a meta robots settings block that allows you to choose to noindex or nofollow that specific post, page or taxonomy. In this video Joost explains how to set noindex or nofollow for a single post, page or taxonomy:

When you’re working on a post, page or taxonomy in WordPress, the Yoast SEO meta box is located under the content editing block. The default setting for a page is “index, follow”, but this can be changed easily on the advanced tab:

how to set a page to noindex


More on robots.txt

Would you like a bit more technical background on robots.txt? Then you should read this Ultimate guide to robots.txt by Joost.

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