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No Index Tag, don’t forget about it!

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
25 February 2008

Where’s my site gone?

In a brave effort to distract myself from the football this evening (my team is losing) I thought I would tax the grey cells and remind everyone about the No Index tag. This is a tag that excludes the search engines from crawling and indexing your pages and is often used on parked domains or when web sites are in develop/test mode.

But what happens, more regularly than you would imagine, is that when the sites are moved into a ‘live’ environment the tags are forgotten about and the site dissappears from the indices – ouch!

So if you have added tags for whatever reason and are about to put your site live, think no Index – and remove them.

As with a lot of things internet this is actually a bit of a grey area as not all search engines treat No Index tags the same way. There is an interesting discussion going on with Matt Cutts of Google asking how you would like to No Index tags to be treated. You can see the ongoing voting here or cast your vote here.

So far most people have voted for the ‘Don’t show a page at all’ option, which makes sense.

But whatever you do, do not forget to remove your own tags if you have them on your site and you want the search engines to find it and index it!

If you do forget and the site is not indexed for a few days relax, its not a huge deal and your rankings are unlikley to suffer, but your traffic may in the short term. You have been warned!



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