SEO for start-ups

SEO for start-ups

Tuesday, 08 February 2011 13:36

Wai Hong Fong: SEO - Meta Robots Tags

How to use meta robot tags

In a site audit of a small media site recently, I found that of the 500 content pages that it has, Google had only indexed five or so pages.

 

This seemed strange, so upon checking the code, we found the following embedded near the top of every page: <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"/>

 

This is called the meta robots tag, and the 'noindex, nofollow' command basically tells Google not to include the site in Google's index and not to follow any links on the page.

 

Because this particular site had the meta robots tag on the top of every page on the site, none of it was getting any search traffic as Google had ignored the entire site.

 

So what is the meta robots tag used for? In some cases, there are pages that you wouldn't want Google to include in their index, such as a privacy notice or a terms and conditions page. Using this tag will omit those pages from Google.

 

What you need to do is a quick site audit of your own site to make sure that your content is being indexed properly.

 

You can first check what Google thinks your site looks like and then view the source code to make sure that your meta robots tag is not misconfigured.

 

You can typically do this by right clicking on a blank spot on the page, click on “View Page Source” and look out for the above meta robots tag.

Wai Hong Fong is co-founder and chieftain at OZHut, a multi-niche online retailer that is passionate about truly serving people in the online space. He was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2011 StartupSmart Awards.


Wai Hong also blogs on his journey as an entrepreneur with specific interests in SEO and Online Retail. You can contact Wai Hong via twitter at @waihonger


Comments (3)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
JasonR
The robots meta tag is also very useful for controlling the indexation of multiple product results pages. Say you have 10 pages of computer products, each of those pages have the same Title, Meta description and possibly body text so you dont really need or want all of them indexed by Google, however you do want Google to crawl each page and index the products that are listed.

So on all the product result pages beyond the first page you insert the meta tag:
a guest , February 09, 2011
  • report abuse
  • +0
  • vote down
  • vote up
JasonR
hmm, should've realised your comment box wouldn't accept tags :)

the robots tag valeu should be "noindex,follow"
a guest , February 09, 2011
  • report abuse
  • +0
  • vote down
  • vote up
waihongfong
That's a good tip there Jason!

Although a good thing to do in the case of duplicate content is always to use the rel=canonical tag to ensure maximum passing on of link juice.
a guest , February 11, 2011
  • report abuse
  • +0
  • vote down
  • vote up

Write comment

smaller | bigger

busy
SmartSolo-Tile
Invalid Input
 

Follow us

StartupSmart on Twitter StartupSmart on Facebook StartupSmart on LinkedIn StartupSmart on Google+

Subscribe to StartupSmart RSS feeds

Sponsored Links

Our Partners

SmartSolo sign up
 

Private Media Publications

Crikey

loading...

Smart Company

loading...

Property Observer

loading...

Leading Company

loading...

Womens Agenda

loading...