Using the Index meta tag means your site is opened for search engine crawlers. Using the noindex meta tag means telling search engines, such as Google, that we want NOT to index a page, so that it won’t be found in search. Google will completely drop the page from the search results, even if other pages link to it. Other search engines, however, may interpret the meta tag differently, so a link to the page could still possibly appear (in the case of Yahoo or Microsoft, as Matt Cutts believes).
How does the noindex meta tag look like?
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
Basically, the code tells search engine crawlers (i.e. ROBOTS) not to record the information on the page (NOINDEX), and not to relate the pages that link out of it (NOFOLLOW).
You should also know that a NoIndex page can accumulate and pass Page Authority, because the links are still followed outwards from a NoIndex page. The only difference is that it won’t be showing in your site’s Index.
NoIndex and NoFollow meta tags are independent
You can have a NoIndex tag with a Follow tag, which basically means that although search engine crawlers will not record the information on the page (NoIndex), the outgoing links of the page will be followed (Follow).
If you add a NoFollow meta tag it means that the page won’t show at all in Google’s Index and no outgoing links will be followed and no Page Authority flows either. So, NoFollow is a way of telling search engines: “Don’t follow links on this page” or “Don’t follow this specific link”. In response to this, Google does not transfer Page Authority or anchors text across these links.
You can use the NoFollow meta tag to lower the amount of link juice you get. Like with the About Us pages and Contact Us ones, which get the highest Page Authority, though they aren’t doing anything for you in terms of search traffic.
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You can also add NoFollow to your comment links to discourage spammers.
To use or not to use…the noindex meta tag?!
Matt Cutts from Google gives us a few reasons why we should use the NoIndex tag. (Read the full interview here…)
If any page has duplicate content with other pages, we should use the NoIndex meta tag. He gives us 2 cases:
1. the page is not a direct duplicate copy of another one
2. a canonical tag cannot be used
In his post Dan Nolan tells us to use NoIndex “on any page that we don’t want a human to find without us directly telling them about it.”
We should use it for email promotion, for employee only pages, or for goal completion pages.
How to open your site for crawlers. The Index Meta Tag.
This is really easy to fix. You need to change <the meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex, nofollow’> to <meta name=’robots’ content=’index, follow’> in your page header.
Hope this helps you sort out your NoIndex meta tags and use them only when’s needed!