Mini-tutorial: How to add noindex to category pages

This question was asked in the WordPress forum here.  Since nobody had answered Michael at press time, I thought it might be helpful to find the answer and publish it here.

Solution:

Option 1) Use robots.txt to prohibit search engines form indexing a page.  Simply add this to your robots.txt file.  If you don’t have a robots.txt file, simply create one in your go-to text editor.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /category/page-title

These two lines will a) let search engines know this rule applies to all robots and b) tell them they cannot index the page located at “category/page-title”.

Option 2) Use this handy plugin.  The Ultimate Noindex Nofollow Plugin by Jonathan Kemp.  With this plugin you can choose pages that the plugin will identifying as non-indexable in the robots.txt file.  There are many other options with this plugin including adding the rel=”nofollow” tag to various places in your WordPress code.

Option 3) Use a meta tag to order search engines to not index a particular page. The meta tag looks like this:

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

12 thoughts on “Mini-tutorial: How to add noindex to category pages”

  1. Doesn’t the All-in-One SEO plugin do this? In the settings for the plugin, you can check a box to noindex category pages. You can also noindex tag pages, too.

    1. Yes it does…we talk about this in the latest post…but not everyone likes using plugins, this this is another way to achieve the same thing. Cheers.

  2. Abdul,
    To achieve only one result, I would use the above method. The All-in-one SRO engine will offer many more features to play with.

    Regards,
    Cyrus

  3. Nice post Cyrus! I have to admit though, I’d rather use the All-In-One Seo Pack for this. It already got these options built in and well, the method above does seem a bit redudant when you already got this SEO plugin installed.

    Still, great tips! It really shows you know what you’re talking about, of course.

    One question: what do you think about the rel=”canonical” link element? I think it’s going to be really important in the future. Should it be a part of WP as well?

  4. well… thanks for finding the answer to that solution.
    I was looking for something that could tell me how to do this, but really did not.
    Thanks for clarifying that.

  5. Hi, Thanks for sharing this informative article!
    This is really the kind of post i am looking for. It is easy to understand and really offers a lot of useful information on how to add noindex to category pages. Just want to ask one thing about its advantage when compare to All-in-one SEO engine. Is their really advantages?

  6. Thanks for this useful article. I use All in One SEO wordpress plugin ti add no index for category pages hence avoiding duplicate content for search engines to index

  7. Doesn’t the All-in-One SEO plugin do this? In the settings for the plugin, you can check a box to noindex category pages. You can also noindex tag pages, too.

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