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Should we index or noindex WordPress Category, Tags for SEO?
Good question. Usually SEOs will tell you to add noindex to categories and tags but in reality the response is much more nuanced.
It largely depends on your blog, WordPress theme, content strategy and how you rank on Google already. There is no one size fits all solution.
For example when your WordPress theme does not show entire posts on category and tag pages but just snippets or teasers you may be better off by showing them on Google instead of just individual posts. Also there won't be duplicate content issues.
On the other hand when you have category pages and tag pages that target the same keywords showing up on top of Google there is no room left for single posts that are more relevant in many cases.
I had to make that decision on several blogs throughout the years and each and every blog was a bit different. For example one blog just had categories and no tags.
Another blog had no image previews on category pages but was very visual so that individual posts with images on top would be probably the better choice to show up on top etc.
My wordpress theme displays the entire post for the tags. So do you advise content moderation for those tag pages in order to avoid content duplication without giving up the ranking?
Great, Here on my website https://wristerr.com/ , I noindexed category pages but as well I have added them in navigation menu, do you think it's good or not?
The answers from SEO experts in this case really helping me, I have been looking for information about this index tag for a long time, and this time I just found the right answer.
So I will apply it on my website https://chevycrossover.com/, this is a blog that is about a month old, I build it with another blog, https://chevymodel.com/, I really need guidance from experts here to establish my website
I think the days of the tags are long gone, so I wouldn't use them. If you have them, you can 301-redirect them.
As for the category pages: I'd keep them indexed because they often allow you to rank for your more generic keywords. Try to look at it as an asset, rather than a pain point: you can add unique content to the page describing the topic and basically building the categories into something that's called a "Hub page".
News sites and blogs often do this. E.g. if they write about Apple every week, what page on the website should be ranking for Apple? Well, the one that tells the background info, and that shows you all the pieces on Apple.
Yeah, I agreed with Steven. You can index your category and but not tags.
But the problem starts when you see those tags getting ranked not not pages. What will you do in this situation?
Noindex, unless you groom, optimize and add unique content to them.
Why not redirect? Otherwise you just waste crawl budget.
If tag pages serve no SEO purpose, and they serve no purpose for visitors: redirect.
If they are useful to visitors, I noindex but 99/100 they get only a hand full of (accidental) visits :)
I think tag and category pages can still be important hub pages to help Google find all relevant pages. I just don't think they're always eligible to rank well unless optimized. At the same time, we have to keep scale in mind: if we're talking about 100,000 of tag pages I'd tackle the problem compared to 100 of tag pages.
I'd also take into account what percentage of total pages are tag or category pages. From experience, I learned 10% of total pages being tag pages is okay, 30% is more critical.
I know that "noindex your tags" is the classic SEO answer, but I've had clients that get a good amount of traffic to those pages... so we started adding more valuable content to those pages, and ran with it.
I've also done the opposite and killed off hundreds of tag pages that were thin content and not useful.
> but I've had clients that get a good amount of traffic to those pages
In competitive niches?
Niche, yes. Competitive, somewhat.
If you have few Categories like 6 to 8 and you have done properly on-page of that categories then you should index that categories( but you will face some pagination duplication issues). but for tab it will create many canonical issues in pagination pages so you must have to deindex tag pages or no need to create tags.
Tad, good insights for newbies as well as experienced seo experts. You are absolutely correct that it is nuanced and varies from site to site.
There is no one correct way to approach whether to noindex wordpress archive pages. Perhaps the best way to identify what to do is to use a free or paid SEO audit tool and find issues where you have duplicate content. If you notice a trend that your duplicate content issues are around your category and/or tag pages, this is a sign that something should be done.
The next step before changing anything is to use Google Analytics to see how much, if any, traffic the pages with dup. content issues are receiving. Those pages with no traffic may be an option for noindexing. But, wait, don't start changing things yet.
It is recommended that you check one other area of importance. Do any of the pages you've identified in step 1 and 2 have any keywords for which it is ranking? If the page has no traffic, it is likely that it is not ranking for any keywords and is safe to noindex. There are, however, occassions when you can shoot yourself in the foot with quick action, so it is wise to double check whether any of the pages you're about to noindex are ranking almost well (say, page 2 or 3 of Google) for any terms.
If there are pages that show some possible live visits from Google with a bit more SEO effort, you don't want to close those pages down to SERPs with noindex.
Sorry for the long answer, but it provides the depth of understanding needed to make the correct decision for your particular website. One size does not fit all and quick action without analysis can hurt more than what you're trying to remedy. An easy way to know what to do is to ask a professional for help. You'll save time and avoid making an inadvertent mistake.
I thing when you ask someone the easiest answer is noindex for tags but I dont agree with it. If you have tag pages it means that in google your website expands and your website has larger area in google. If your scope is lage it is better for you. for example I have a website https://www.androhaber.net/ and when I added noindex for tags it effected my website too bad.
As an amateur UXer, I would like to add that when thinking of whether or not we should no-index categories and tags, I would suggest you make the right choice for your users. You created great content? You should keep your users in mind and give them the best environment to consume this content. I use tags on my blog https://yuhan.pro/ to help readers find similar content easily.
But on the other hand, it is true that if search engines index your tags, this does not help on the SEO side of things. There are risks of duplicate content, self-competing content and http errors if you delete a tag for some reason. From a general perspective, my humble opinion is: use tags if they can help your users but no index them for SEO purposes. For categories, I would suggest indexing them if you don't have too many.
Well, the answer is, if you feel the pages add no value to your website or to the visitor, you should probably delete them entirely and serve a 404 error status. If the pages are important for users to navigate and are a “necessary information” of having a blog, then they should be noindexed.
If you noindex the pages, Google has stated that they will eventually treat those pages as soft 404s. This means that no links that point to these pages will count for ranking determinations.
Why does this matter? Ultimately it probably doesn’t.
If links are pointing to pages that you don’t think have any value, then the search engines and users probably don’t find any value in them either.
the answers from seo experts here really helped me a lot, I've been searching for information about this index tag for a long time, and this time I just found the right answer. so I will use the no index for the tags on my website https://subarucarusa.com/, this is a blog that is approximately one month old, I built it with another blog, https://chevycarusa.com/, I really need direction from experts here to progress my website going forward.
It depends on website but i prefer no index to categories and tags.Focusing on orginal and unique posts.
I am going through all the feedback given and found it so useful. Have been cracking my head over whether to no-index all my category and tag pages in my site https://www.lydiascapes.com given they keep appearing higher than my article results, which is a little frustrating.
I guess the conclusion I picked out for me now is to no-index the tag pages and keep category pages which are still pretty useful for me and user experience.
My post is on number 1 and my tag is on number 2. Is it good or i should remove tag?
one of my main traffic keywords are tag .. so I think index or noindex tags and categories generally based on the way you are going to use them, if you going to add tags like crazy with no real purpose of categorizing reason behind them then don't index them if not then you should leave them as they represent a better categorizing way for your site to search engines
At the beginning of my blogging journey, tags and categories were set automatically to 'do-follow'. After a while, my tags and categories were always outranking the content I'm actually trying to rank. Currently, all my tags and categories are 'no-follow' and the posts actually rank pretty well - just what I'm looking for. :)
I'm running https://vietnamchronicles.com and all tags and categories are on default set to 'no-follow'. One thing that I really suggest when it comes to tags is to not overdo it. Include as many tags as needed to effectively explain search engines and users what's your content about. Start with the most general tag and finish with the specific ones.
No indexing for tags for sure, it just no good value to it. There are risks of duplicate content, self-competing content and http errors if you delete a tag for some reason. As for the categories, it depends on the number of categories mostly. If the number of categories are below 10, indexing those usually are fine. if it goes beyond 10, no indexing them. Take a glance look at my blog https://korea-101.com/
From a general perspective, in my opinion: use tags if they can help your users but no index them for SEO purposes. For categories, I would suggest indexing them if you don't have too many.
Hi I am from love and fun quotes I have quotes website and I am confused about should I index my tag or category?
And one more thing I no indexed post. I index the only category. Can it impact my SEO???
Another doubt if I index post but not category I only optimized category does not post and I include a keyword on a category not in the post what should I do please any suggestion from you
I don't seem to get the answer I need here, my website blog https://seoscool.com/ tags has already ranked on google but it causes duplicate content, so my question now is that, if I disable the index to noindex, would it affect the blog SEO?
I've lodged a formal complaint with the site over the angry little moderator that keeps declining my comments. Thanks
Well great, now that I can comment, to reiterate:
I think that indexing tags and categories is more likely useful if your domain is a blog only. As many people on the internet run wordpress powered sites for things oftentimes unrelated to blogging, indexation of categories and tags can create massive headaches and potentially set-up a lot of thin-content.
For example, I'm a photographer and have a website at https://www.joejenkinsphoto.com
The way the images are displayed on my site is via image attachments on posts. If I want to display 20 images on a page, for example, I'll create 20 posts and attach one image to each post. The wordpress loop will then go around, grab the images, and display them in my gallery (wordpress galleries used to be fairly unsophisticated and this is simply how things were set up). The problem with this method is that it creates tons of pages that google will then index; with each one of those pages containing virtually no content and making penguin very angry. Not only that, but if you've tags and categories set up, twice the amount of pages will be created, twice the amount of context will be indexed, and twice the amount of ire you'll gain from penguin.
As well, with each page containing x number of links in the header and footer files, you're creating a blizzard of internal links as well that are all flying around directing one another towards extraneous pages on your site.
I have been doing research on this for the last 18 hours and I decided to noindex my website's tags and categories, https://ExpandYourMiind.com after I noticed that I have over 100 copies of the same tags and they were affecting my SEO. I had to de-index all of them last night. That was fun...
I read your discussion with interest as have been looking for a solution to duplicate content on my category pages.
Category pages are indexed on my site and have information like a hub for clustered content but I keep getting errors on duplicate meta descriptions as adding more articles generated pages and just copies overall meta description. I have not been able to find a place to edit different descriptions per page. What's your advice?
My Google search console constantly shows me 5 errors about no index. One I deliberately wanted no-indexed but the other 4 are categories. My website is https://www.betreuung.com I have 4 categories which are like blogs where I publish articles. The categories are no-index because I was told by someone that is the right thing to do. The articles are being indexed by google so I am afraid if I index the categories there may be issues with ranking of some articles that have good ranking. On the other hand there so many others that do not have good ranking. Here is one of the blogs: https://www.betreuung.com/category/seniorenpflege-nutzliche-informationen/
thank you in advance for your kind cooperation
Well, looks like I've been a bit late in the game on that tagging issue...
I've been online for more than 15 years now with trendland with daily bad tagging and I have over 7K of duplicate content mostly coming from tags now :(
I deleted thousands of unique tags because we only had one or two articles per tags and now i have about 700 left which I think I will still no-index since there is a lot of duplicate content on it.
I would, no-index the tags and keep categories indexed for now.
No indexing for tags for sure, it just no good value to it. There are risks of duplicate content, self-competing content and http errors if you delete a tag for some reason. As for the categories, it depends on the number of categories mostly. If the number of categories are below 10, indexing those usually are fine. if it goes beyond 10, no indexing them. Take a glance look at my blog https://betgogo.net
Thank you for this helpful info, I just started a blog and I know its way to early to tell but my busy mind sees the average ranking from 84.6 to 100+ in the first week. I figured it might be due to excess pages indexed compared to indexed pages but who knows I could be over-optimizing lol. Check it out if you have time! Cheers.
Thanks for the info, really clear and made sense. It allowed me to make the decision to turn off tags for my blog
Having tags can help with keywords mapping according to one article I read long time ago.
In my case, I had tuned them off with in first week of starting the blog, now they don't show up on the website itself. However they seems to be getting indexed on Google somehow. Any thought's on how I can remove them completely?
it was my doubt wether to noindex categories, Tags, Authors and Archive pages for my website (seof.ir) or not. after reading about 50 Articles and opinion I found for preventing duplicate content (accessing 1 post from two different urls) its recommended th noindex following pages:
1- category pages
2- Author pages
3- Tags pages
4- Archive Pages
I have a site https://apksting.com/ where each post is an individual product, categorized by categories and tags. I hadn’t changed any of the default settings of the All in One SEO plugin until reading this article.
I have unchecked all noindex’s today so will keep an eye on this and provide some feedback if successful or not.
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