fbpx
06 - to index or not to index

To Index or Not to Index Category and Tag Pages?

There is no perfect way to arrange material on your website, be it blog entries, product detail pages, product listing pages, or even photographs. However, SEO category pages and tags are one solution that the majority of content management systems (CMS) and the Englewood SEO Company provide.

You can develop a useful organizational structure with the use of broad category sites (for example, men’s shirts, women’s shoes) and more specialized tag pages (for example, white shirt, black pants, etc.). Even though they are helpful, having too many category and tag pages could be problematic.

More precisely, they might affect the efficiency of search engine optimization (SEO).

I’ll discuss the possible drawbacks of having too many category and tag pages in this post. I’ll also discuss the issue’s remedy, noindexing, and provide a case study of an NP Digital client who successfully implemented noindexing.

Continue reading if you want to learn if the noindex tag can help you with your SEO issues.

Or you can visit MTB Digital Marketing.

What issues are brought on by unnecessary category and tag pages?

Ranking conflicts and crawl depth or index bloat difficulties are the two main challenges surrounding category and tag style pages and their effects on SEO performance.

Regarding the first category, irrelevant category and tag pages may be stealing relevant content from your website due to ranking conflicts. This implies that the internal pages of your site are vying for the same visitors.

You must first comprehend what a search engine crawl bot is and how it functions before you can address the second category, crawl/index bloat issues.

A program that crawls the internet in order to keep track of active URLs is known as a search engine crawl bot, also known as a crawler or web spider. These pages are crawled and then indexed by search engines. They might appear in search results as a result.

The number of pages that are now live on the internet changes frequently. So how do crawlers decide which pages to browse? The robot.txt file on a website, which contains a sitemap—a list of website URLs—is used by crawl bots.

Once it starts to crawl, it might also come across more URLs by using the internal links on the pages that it has already scanned. Additionally, certain pages will be crawled.

Crawl bots, however, are unable to possibly crawl every page of a website. As a result, they crawl the pages that seem to be the most crucial.

For websites that have a lot of useless pages, such category and tag pages, this might be an issue. They may result in “crawl bloat,” which is when the crawl bot scans pointless pages. This has a detrimental effect on the crawl budget for the website, which ultimately results in the loss of pages that are truly relevant.

When Should Pages Be Indexed or Not Indexed?

Noindexing pages is very much a “it depends” SEO strategy, as was already mentioned. Consequently, how do you decide whether to index or noindex pages on your website?

The user should find value on the pages that are indexed. You want search engines to list these pages so that users can locate them.

When there is a possibility of cannibalization, a page on your website should be noindexed. This indicates that the page’s content or URL is so close to one of your website’s priority pages that it diverts visitors from the priority page.

A page that you don’t want to make public can also be noindexed. For instance, a login page for users with active accounts or a targeted landing page to which you link in your email newsletter. Staging areas and password-protected pages should also be deindexed.

What does website tagging mean?

Website tags are words or phrases used to categorize material. An example of a marketing tag might be in a blog post about digital marketing. So, tagging on a website is an effort to put content that is similar together to make it easier to search.

What distinguishes categories and tags from one another?

Broad subjects called categories are used to arrange content on websites. If you run a recipe blog, for instance, you might have sections for “breakfast,” “lunch,” “dinner,” etc. Each item of material may be assigned numerous tags, which are more descriptive labels. The equivalent would be to tag a recipe for chicken alfredo with the words “chicken,” “pasta,” “cream,” etc. to continue the recipe blog example.

What differentiates noindex from nofollow?

A noindex tag instructs crawlers not to index the URL when it is introduced to a webpage. The page does not show up in search engine results as a result. A nofollow tag instructs crawlers not to crawl the URLs linked from a page by telling them not to do so. A website might be marked as nofollow, noindex, or even both at once.

Conclusion

Categories and tags might be your best friends when it comes to arranging the material on your website. However, you should be careful not to have too many category and tag sites indexed.

The noindex tag can be used in this situation. Noindexing unnecessary category and tag sites eliminates the possibility of content cannibalization and lessens crawl bloat. This benefits both the functionality of your website and website visitors, who could otherwise be misled by repeated content.