Meta tags Explained- NoIndex Nofollow Tags, Archives

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noindex nofollow meta tagsThere is lot of confusion which surrounds the entire concept of Noindex Nofollow Meta Tag, archives or other archive pages based on author, date and month. There is also No Index vs Nofollow debate. Meta tags for robots have been in the practices for long time now but even then, most of the bloggers and webmasters tend to get confused on these settings.

WordPress bloggers often come across these settings and terms & are not clear about;

  • Whether to noarchive or not?
  • Whether to noindex nofollow categories or noindex nofollow author pages?

If you are using premium wordpress themes like thesis or studiopress or seo plugin like wordpress seo plugin by Yoast and all in one seo plugin, you must have come across this question.

You will also come across noodp and noydir in seo settings.

In this post, you will find all the details which are required at conceptual level to understand these terms. You have to make the final call on actual settings for you but if you understand the concept, it is easier for you to make the decision.

Index, noindex, follow, nofollow and other terms are part of a group of tags which is referred to as Meta tags for robots. It looks like;




These tags are used to provide access or restrict access for search engine bots. It could be used in restricting access for secure items like passwords or personal files and also, in search engine optimization where you avoid indexing of duplicate content (which is bad for seo) or caching of certain content on your blog.

Concept and practice of noindex nofollow remains same for webmasters across content management systems, this information is valid for all users irrespective of the CMS of their site.

I am using wordpress and it is extremely easy to control these features in it.

Meta tags Explained

Now let’s go through some of these terms to understand what they mean;

Index – this tag tells search engine that this content can be indexed and included in their search result. It is on by default so you will not find Index tag often visible to you.

Noindex – this tag prevents indexing of the content by search engines bots therefore this content is not shown in search results.

None – this is combination of noindex nofollow which means that search engines should not do anything with this page.

Follow – you might have come across this term in backlinking. This basically tells search engine bots to follow a link.

Nofollow – nofollow tag inform search engine bots to not follow links.

Noarchive or nocache – if you use noarchive, then search engines won’t display cached copy of web pages.

Nosnippet – rich snippets are part of structured data which is displayed in search engine results. You might have noticed rating stars in review posts. If you don’t want to show snippets, you can use nosnippet tag to achieve this.

Noodp – Noodp is used to prevent search engines from using your site’s description from DMOZ directory and displaying that in search results.

Noydir – this is used to prevent Yahoo search engine from using description of your site from Yahoo Directory.

Now the million dollar question;

Should you noindex nofollow categories, archive pages and tags on your wordpress blog or site?

NoIndex Nofollow – Tags, Archives, Meta tags

As explained in the earlier section of this post, you know it better than anybody else if you would like to index or follow certain type of content on your site.

Duplicate content is bad for seo and if there are too many links pointing to same content then it could hurt your SEO.

If you want to use your categories name to leverage SEO value, then you should index your categories.  But in that case, I will add title, description and Meta keywords to categories page. I am using studiopress theme which allow me to do so. Please check your theme for that.

Same is applicable if you want to index tags but I don’t see any need to index author pages or pages based on date, month and year.

You should not Index more than one parameter out of;

  • Category
  • Tag archives
  • Author archives
  • Date archives
  • Search archives

Your posts are already indexed under Home/blog so you don’t need to bother about indexing of your posts; it’s just that if you want to leverage something else for SEO like categories or tags, you should do it carefully.

It is advisable to Nofollow links so you can do Nofollow for your categories, tags and other archive pages.

How to Implement Nofollow Noindex SEO on your wordpress blog

As mentioned earlier, it is fairly easy to implement noindex nofollow and noarchive settings on a wordpress site.

You can do it either by using premium themes or seo plugins.

Primary examples of wordpress themes which allow configuring settings for Noindex nofollow/noarchive are;

SEO plugins examples to implement this;

  • WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast
  • All in one SEO plugin

If you are using some other content management system, then you can easily achieve same result by using robots.txt file.

Now you understand the meaning of these terms and you have to decide how to use them.

Please share your questions, feedback, suggestion and comment with us so that it helps others too.

And yes, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. (Even if you don’t liked it)

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About akhilendra

Hi, I’m Akhilendra and I write about Product management, Business Analysis, Data Science, IT & Web. Join me on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin


  1. nice explanation about the most important and most confusing meta tags…

    I have a question for you akhilendra, it is “how to check whether your inbound link is Dofollow or not..??” this question always annoys me.. some comluv blogs show this info like in “” 🙂 but most of blog does not do that…
    I want your help in this regard..

  2. Awesome post thanks for sharing this cool post have a great day ahead 😀 😉

  3. Nice explanation of all meta tags. Thesis and Genesis really simplify these things for a blogger. You can also add information on redirection tags like “refresh” or “canonical”. Most blogger face problems while moving from blogger to WP and these tags are a real pain.
    Thanks for the nice article. 🙂

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