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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?
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.
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.
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.
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