Definition of "no index" and its role in SEO

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

on the theme Technical SEO

In the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), there are a number of technical terms that are essential for understanding the different strategies used to optimise the visibility of a site. website.

This article focuses on the "no index "which plays a crucial role in managing the indexing of pages by search engines such as Google.

You'll find out what a "no index" is, how it works, and the advantages and disadvantages for your website.

No index

What is the No Index?

Le No Index is an instruction used in the robots.txt file or in the meta tag one page HTML to indicate to search engines such as Google or Bingthat they must not index this specific page. In other words, this means that the page in question will not be included in their database and will therefore not appear in the search results.

This is a simple and effective way of controlling which pages of your website will be visible in the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) and those that will remain hidden for various reasons. It should be noted here that the No Index should not be used systematically, but only for certain specific pages depending on your needs and objectives.

Why use the No Index?

It may be appropriate to use the No Index on certain pages of your website for various reasons:

  1. Obsolete content You may have out-of-date articles, products or promotions that you feel add no value for web users.
  2. Content duplication The duplicate contentEven if it is unintentional, it can be detrimental to your SEO. Using the No Index tag on one of the duplicate versions can avoid this problem.
  3. Temporary promotions : For special or temporary offers, it may be a good idea to exclude them from the index once the time has elapsed.
  4. Confidential pages In some cases, you may want certain sensitive pages, such as those with restricted access, not to be visible to search engines.

Status 200 or No Index: what's the difference?

A distinction should be made here between the 200 status of pages (HTTP response status code), meaning that the page is online and accessible, and the "No index" status. Even if a page is online with a status of 200, this does not necessarily mean that it should be indexed and appear in search results.

Marking a page with No Index tells search engines that the page does exist, but that they should not include it in their results. This gives you more control over the indexing and visibility of the pages on your website.

How do I use the No Index?

There are two main methods for adding a no index instruction to a web page :

  1. Meta tag You can include a specific meta tag in the header of the HTML code of the page, with the "noindex" directive. For example: .
  2. robots.txt file You can also add a line to your site's robots.txt file to exclude certain pages or entire sections from indexing. For example : User-agent : *
    Disallow : /my_cache_folder/

It is also important to mention that the choice of using one or other method will often depend on the general structure of your website and the flexibility offered by your CMS (Content Management System).

The No Index instruction and its impact on SEO

The "No Index" has a direct impact on the visibility of your pages in search results. Used correctly, it can be beneficial for optimising your site's natural referencing by targeting content that is precise and relevant to Internet users.

The benefits of No Index for SEO

    • Control indexing and avoid problems linked to content duplication.
    • Exclude obsolete or irrelevant content.
    • Highlight key pages in search results.

The disadvantages of No Index for SEO

    • Potential reduction in the visibility of a website if used excessively.
    • The instruction has to be updated manually, which can be tedious.

In conclusion, the "No Index" is a powerful tool to be taken into account in your natural referencing strategy.

Make sure you analyse your needs and the specific features of your website to determine which pages should be indexed or excluded, in order to maximise your website's visibility.

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