How to Fix URLs with Noindex, Follow Directives

How to Fix URLs with Noindex, Follow Directives

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Noindex follow page issue means that there are URLs that have a ‘noindex’ but don’t have a ‘nofollow’ tag in the HTML code or in the HTTP response header.

The Importance of the Issue

A page with the server response X-Robots-Tag: noindex, follow or a meta tag <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow” /> is not indexed by a search engine. At the same time, its follow value instructs the search engine to follow the links at a page. This makes no sense as over time Google will take this as <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” /> i. e. Google will stop following the links over time irrespective of the value set in a directive.

<…>Google’s John Mueller explained in a webmaster video at the 54:51 mark that long term noindex, follow commands will eventually equate to a noindex, nofollow directive as well. Why, well, eventually Google will stop going to the page because of the noindex, remove it from the index, and thus not be able to follow the links on that page<…>

Search Engine Round Table

How to Check the Issue

Using any browser is enough to check the issue. Open the source code of the flawed page. To do this, click the right mouse button at any spot of the page and choose “browse the code” option, or apply an online tool.

Find a directive <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow” /> . If the value of the content = noindex, follow, there is an issue at the page.

To check the server’s response, use a tool redbot or any similar tool. The presence of an X-Robots-Tag: noindex, follow in the server’s response means there is an issue.

Detailed directive description: 

https://developers.google.com/search/reference/robots_meta_tag?hl=en.

It is recommended to check the presence of the directive and a server response in the source code.

Keeping track of URLs on your site that have a ‘noindex’ tag but lack a ‘nofollow’ tag is straightforward with Sitechecker. The service will crawl your website and locate all impacted pages.

Noindex Follow Page Issue

You’ll receive a list of pages with URLs that contain ‘noindex, follow’ directives, and have the ability to view the associated issue within the code.

Noindex Follow Page List

How to Fix This Issue

When using <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow” />  substitute follow value with nofollow: <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” />.

When using X-Robots-Tag: googlebot: noindex, follow, substitute this guideline from the server response with X-Robots-Tag: googlebot: noindex, nofollow.

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