Deindexing web pages can actually help increase site traffic by directing search engines to relative pages and eliminating unrelated pages from popping up in results.
The following quick guide can help you deindex pages to increase quality site traffic.
Why deindexing can work
It is actually possible to over-optimise a site with too much SEO. Over-optimisation used to be a solid SEO strategy for improving page rank in the early days, but changes in the way Google handles SEO-heavy sites has penalised pages for keyword stuffing, link stuffing and link spamming.
Deindexing makes it possible to exercise more control over which pages end up in SERPs. You can successfully eliminate pages that don’t make sense to index, such as those containing duplicate information, confidential content, community profiles, free resources, spammy content and more. Deindexing ensures only your top-quality content shows up in search results, which can increase the quality of traffic across your site.
Easy ways to tackle deindexing
Use these tips to prevent unwanted content from showing up in search results.
- Noindex and nofollow meta tags
Meta tags are an easy way to deindex pages from search rankings. Adding a noindex tag keeps pages from showing up on any SERP, while a nofollow tag prevents search engines from crawling links on the selected page. These tags can be used alone or in combination, depending on your specific goals for deindexing the page.
- Create a robots.txt file
Using a robots.txt file makes it possible to deindex several pages at once. It gives detailed instructions to search engine robots on how to crawl or follow page links and identifies which areas of a page are open to web crawling software.
Most digital marketers are worried about effectively indexing web pages, not deindexing them. However, indexing too many of the wrong kind of pages or content can actually hurt SERPs. Google penalises sites and pages that are over-optimised or stuffed with links and keywords.
To get the most out of your best content and direct more traffic to your highest-quality pages, consider deindexing pages containing spammy, duplicate or confidential content using one of the methods outlined above.
Deindexing tells Google to focus only on ranking these quality pages, not insignificant or lower-quality ones. This will help boost your rankings and significantly improve organic site traffic over time.