Should I NoIndex Category and Tag Pages?

Short answer: It depends.

When to Keep Category & Tag Pages

If your Category and tags have a lot of great content and match the searcher’s intent, it will be helpful and engaging to readers. Then you will want to keep them indexed.

An example of effective use of Category pages (Search Engine Land):

Example: Search Engine Land uses Category Pages Effectively
Example: Search Engine Land uses Category Pages Effectively

When to NoIndex Category & Tag Pages

It is imperative to avoid these common mistakes:

Duplicate Content: Using similar Categories and Tags in a single post. (e.g., tagging a post with: sell, sellers, selling, vendor, dealer, etc.,)

Duplicate Example
Duplicate Example: Pages tagged with a similar Category.

Link Bloat: Tagging every page with a Category or Tag.

Link Bloat: Every Page of a 109-page blog has been tagged with the same Category.
Link Bloat: Every post of a 109-page blog has been tagged with the same Category.

Thin Content: Having Categories or Tags with only one or two posts attached.

Thin Content: Category Pages with only one tag.

If you don’t have time to manage your Category and Tag hierarchy properly, noindex might be the best option for you. If you have the time and resources, you might get rewarded for that.

Before Noindexing Category & Tags!

Before you decide to noindex your category and tag pages, check Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see if you receive any organic traffic to those pages.

All Traffic in 2021 to Catgory Pages
All Traffic in 2021 to Category Pages

If you receive little to no traffic over a 6 to 12-month period, it is safe to noindex those pages.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to keep your content helpful and informative for readers, make sure to consider your category and tag structure. By ensuring that they are both full of great content and closely match searcher intent, you can encourage people to stick around on your site longer – which means they’re more likely to see your product pages and buy what you’re selling. What tips do you have for creating good category and tag structures?

About Isaac

I am a digital marketing consultant located in Ottawa, Ontario. My focus is on Technical SEO, Web Design, and Content optimization for small to medium-sized businesses.

Published on: 2022-02-23
Updated on: 2022-06-22

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