What are the Pros and Cons of the "noarchive" Metatag?

Sep 19, 2007 • 9:02 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread asks if there's any purpose to the 'noarchive' metatag in Google. Why use it?

A few reasons are mentioned:

  • Pages that are constantly updated should not be showing the wrong information in the cache so as not ti mislead users.
  • News sites don't want to cache information because they don't want the world to access the data well after publication. In their minds, it should only be available to subscribers at that time.
  • Some people just don't feel that Google should republish their content without permission.
  • You're cloaking your pages and don't want to be reported. This is something that Barry has expounded upon, saying that in the past, cloakers would utilize this tag to prevent Google from showing the cloaked content. However, Google would flag sites that used that tag. He suspects it's no longer done.
  • You want to prohibit scraper sites from lifting content off your cached pages.

Good points. I wonder if anyone has any others to add. If so, join the discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Michael Martinez

09/19/2007 04:19 pm

Google may not index new content that uses "noarchive". While that may not be their intention, I've seen Web sites go unindexed for months despite heavy crawling. As soon as the "noarchive" meta instructions were changed or removed the pages started appearing in Google's index. This is not a universal behavior. Black hats have other reasons for noarchiving pages than just hiding the fact they are cloaking. Actually, white hats who are concerned about giving away competitive information may also want to consider using noarchive, at least after they make sure the pages appear in the index.


09/19/2007 07:12 pm

"want to prohibit scraper sites from lifting content off your cached pages" Thats the only one I didn't think of myself and it is the most obvious

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