Definition of “noindex” Meta Tag

The noindex HTML meta tag is a valuable directive used in SEO that tells search engines not to index a specific web page, preventing it from appearing in search engine results pages (SERPs). Let’s dive into the details of the noindex directive, why it’s used, and how to implement it:

Definition of Noindex Tag

The noindex tag is an HTML meta tag placed in the head section of a web page’s code. When search engine bots crawl the page, this tag informs them that the particular page should not be included in their index.

Reasons to Use the Noindex Tag

  1. Control Over Indexing: If there are pages on your site that are not relevant to the general public, such as private pages or testing environments, you can use the noindex tag to prevent them from being indexed.
  2. Avoiding Duplicate Content: To avoid SEO penalties for duplicate content, you can use the noindex tag on pages that have substantially similar content to other pages on your site. This could be the case if you have paid media campaigns with landing pages similar to those of your organic website.
  3. Seasonal or Temporary Content: For content that’s only relevant for a short time, such as promotional pages or event-specific content, the noindex tag can ensure it doesn’t continue to appear in search results after its relevance has passed.

How to Implement the Noindex Tag

To apply the noindex tag to a webpage, you would add the following meta tag in the head section of the HTML code:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

You can also be more specific by targeting specific search engine bots, such as Googlebot:

<meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">

Combining with Other Directives

The noindex tag can be combined with other directives such as nofollow, which instructs search engine bots not to follow the links on the page:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">

Important Considerations

  • Do Not Use for Important Content: Ensure you don’t accidentally place the noindex tag on vital pages that you want to be indexed, as it will remove them from search results.
  • Not Instantaneous: If a page is already indexed, adding a noindex tag won’t remove it instantly from search results. It may take some time for search engines to recrawl the page and update their index.


The noindex tag is a powerful tool for webmasters and technical SEO professionals, allowing precise control over which pages are included in search engine indexes. By understanding when and how to use the noindex tag, you can optimize the visibility of your site’s content, ensuring that only relevant and valuable pages are presented to users in search results. It’s an essential aspect of managing the content that represents your site to search engines, making it a vital consideration in the optimization and management of websites.

Learn how the index tag works, and when you should use it.

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