Google On Using Noindex & Canonical Tags

May 1, 2023 - 7:31 am 1 by

Google Twin Bots Wrestle

Historically, Google has said you should not use a noindex along with a canonical tag at the same time. But not always. John Mueller of Google said recently, "it depends." He said it depends on whether the pages are identical and if you want them indexed...

This topic has come up a few times but the other day on Twitter, John was asked when you can, should or should not mix noindex and canonical tags on the same page. John said, "Time for "it depends". For identical pages that you only slightly care which is picked, use rel=canonical. For different pages (like syndication) and/or a strong opinion, use noindex (+ maybe canonical). Noindex+canonical? Yes, if you care more about indexing than canonicalizing."

He also said previously that "Google in practice generally just assumes in these cases the canonical is a mistake and ignore it," which is why Google has said they should not be mixed. While we've seen some weirdness with syndicated content in this scenario.

Here is our previous coverage of some of this topic:

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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