Does Adding NoIndex To Some Pages Impact Pages Without NoIndex?

Aug 27, 2010 • 8:52 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Sometimes I love these threads and sometimes I hate them. A WebmasterWorld thread asks if he will negatively be impacted by adding the noindex meta tag to 3,500 pages on his site.

The answer to these questions is never black and white. It depends.

(1) By adding the noindex meta tag to the page, you are saying you don't want those pages indexed. So yea, you don't care what happens to these pages.

(2) But can it impact other pages? Sure, Google will stop indexing those pages and any internal linkage the pages you want in the index might be degraded a bit or might not.

(3) PageRank will still flow to pages that have the noindex meta tag, so keep that in mind when trying to control your PageRank flow.

But if the pages have yet to be indexed and you want to keep them out, then I doubt it will hurt. Plus, if there are no real links to those pages or if they are all nofollowed or canonical tagged off to another page, then you should be fine.

These types of questions always "depend" on so many other variables.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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08/27/2010 03:00 pm

Does PageRank really "flow" to pages that are noindex'd? Isn't it that the pagerank would be lost. For example, if I'm linking to 5 pages and 1 of them is no-index'd, then the remaining links couldn't get 25% of the PR, but the same 20% they would get if the page was no-index'd? Maybe that's a bit of a newbie response, but I'm not sure why Google would attribute PR to a site that isn't in the index.


08/27/2010 03:03 pm

Just to clarify, I would suspect it would work similar to how google attributes PR flow if a link is no-follow'd.


08/27/2010 03:34 pm

Hmmn, I can't really see the point of adding nofollow unless you have duplicate content issues. In which case, it's probably better to just overhaul your site structure to prevent that from happening. At least you won't run the risk of losing the links juice. Cheers for the post.

Ryan Jones

08/27/2010 04:14 pm

I'm trying to think of a valid reason why you'd want to put 3500 pages live and NOT let them be indexed. Typically, I only reserve the noindex for pages like "step 2" of a form, or "quiz results" or things like that. But do you really have 3500 of those?

Michael Martinez

08/27/2010 05:41 pm

PageRank can be assigned to pages that are "not yet" in the index. Could the algorithms be tweaked to NOT assign PageRank to pages intentionally not in the index? Yes. But Googlers have indicated that the links on noindexed pages may be followed and that PageRank could still flow through them. So speculating something to the contrary of what has been stated is rather pointless.

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