Although indexing as many of your website pages as possible is very tempting, excessive indexing can actually do more harm than good to your website.
Here are some of the pages which need to be excluded from the search engine result pages:
Duplicate Content: One major reason is to prevent duplicate content. Your website may have more than one version of a webpage, for example, a web-only version and a print-version of a page. Since both these pages have the same content in different formats, the search engine may flag them as copy-cat content, which will do more harm than good.
Thank You Pages: A thank you page is one that your visitor lands on after any conversion, be it subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a contact form, or completing a survey. Thank you page is where your visitors get offers you promised them, such as downloading an ebook or getting access to freebies. If these thank you pages show up on search results, visitors can access them directly, rather than first going through the required conversion process. This means lower leads for your website. Worse, your thank you pages may become the highest ranking pages in the search engine, which means they could be inviting thousands of people to bypass the lead-capturing forms.
If you have these two pages, it is a good idea to de-index them from the search engine.
De-Indexing a Webpage
1. Add a Robots.txt file: Adding a robots.txt file to your website can prevent the search engine from indexing your pages. This allows you more control over what crawlers should index. In this file, you can specify whether you want to block your whole site, a single page, or even a single file.
However, if you are looking for an easier and less technical option, option 2 below is best for you.
2. Add a “noindex” or a “nofollow”metatags: A “noindex” tag allows the search engine to crawl through it, yet prevent it from adding the page to the search engine results. A “nofollow” tag prevents the search engine from crawling the links in a webpage. This means that if the webpage has any ranking authority, it will not be passed on to its links.
A person can add a “noindex” or “nofollow” directive on their own or both together. When these directives are used together, they prevent the search engine from indexing the page as well as stop them from crawling the links on the page.
Thank-you pages are a great example of where the “noindex” and nofollow” metatags should be used.
Once you follow these steps, these webpages will no longer show up in the search engine results. Note that you will not see the results immediately. Your changes will only be seen the next time a crawler comes to your pages. If you update your site frequently, the bots can come to your site within an hour. If not, it can even take weeks. To accelerate the process, you can always use Google crawl tools to index your pages.
Although these processes look simple, they do need a bit of technical knowledge. C2Media is an SEO company in Calgary that can help to manage your website and bring your SEO game to the top. To contact us, go to https://www.c2media.ca or call us at 403-971-8199.