Category & tag pages should be left indexable. These pages are critical pages that you want to be crawled regularly. As soon as you start noindexing them, Google will stop crawling them.
The more you try to dictate what Google should be doing, the less they like it. Google will index category & tag pages first, so they see value in them. As your website grows, the main pages take over and will surpass those tags.
Every page on your site serves a purpose, but that doesn’t mean its goal is to rank higher in Google Search. These pages are there to help with things like login access, thanking customers, and organizing data.
Category & Tag Tips
What you should be doing with Category & Tag pages:
- Have a Category & Tag strategy
- Create unique Category and Tag descriptions
- Avoiding thin or duplicate content (titles & meta descriptions)
- Adding 301 Redirects for deleted Categories & Tags
A Category & Tag strategy consists of keywords you want to rank for in SERPs (search engine result pages); they should be clear, concise, and well thought out. If Categories and Tags are an afterthought, and you tag everything under the sun, it’s best to noindex these pages.
Use your Tag + Category pages like a landing page for your visitors; these pages will map out and promote all visitors can learn from your website clearly and efficiently.
If you want to be first in search results, then it is essential that you use every tool at your disposal.
What is noindex or nofollow?
“Index, follow” means pages can be indexed, and all links on that page can be followed by search engines.
“Noindex, nofollow” indicates that the page shouldn’t be indexed, and links shouldn’t be followed by search engines.
Categories vs. Tags
What’s the Difference Between Categories and Tags? A Category is meant for the broad grouping of your posts. Tags are intended to describe specific details of your posts.
Tags and categories help readers locate information in different ways. Categories are like chapters of a book; they provide a general overview of your blog’s topics. In comparison, tags are more like the index at the back of the book.
Pages that you might want to noindex
Here are a few pages you’d like Google not to index:
Author archives on a one-author blog
If you only have one author in your blog, the author attribute will be the same as your blog homepage, which can be seen as duplicate content to Google.
Thank you pages
These are low content pages, with numerous calls-to-action; it’s best to hide these. Having these indexable can skew your Google Analytics Goal properties.
Admin and login pages
Unless your pages are a part of a community forum or a client login, you should noindex them.
WooCommerce/Product post types
Some online shops have numerous attributes, tags, images, and links; this can be seen as thin or duplicate content. If you don’t find any value in landing on those pages, Google won’t either. This can be very tricky; if you don’t feel comfortable, I’d recommend hiring a professional to handle this process.
Whether or not to noindex a page boils down to one question: Do you want these pages to show up in the Google search results? In most cases, it’s better for Google to decide.