NoIndex tag

A directive for search engines not to index a webpage in search results.


The NoIndex tag is an HTML snippet that can be added to the <head> section of a webpage to instruct search engines not to include that specific page in their search results. This tag is recognized by major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and it effectively makes the webpage invisible to users searching through these search engines. It does not, however, prevent the search engine bots from crawling the page; it only stops the page from being indexed.

Usage and Context

Webmasters and SEO professionals use the NoIndex tag for various reasons, including preventing duplicate content from appearing in search results, keeping private or under-construction pages unseen, or removing pages that offer no value to searchers. It’s also used in staging or development environments to ensure test pages do not appear in search results.

To implement the tag, the meta tag <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> is placed within the <head> section of the HTML of the page.


  1. What happens if I add a NoIndex tag to a page?

    • The page will not appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs), but it will still be crawlable by search engine bots.
  2. Is NoIndex the same as Disallow in robots.txt?

    • No, Disallow in robots.txt prevents search engines from crawling a page at all, while NoIndex allows crawling but not indexing.
  3. Can I use NoIndex for PDFs or non-HTML content?

    • Yes, but implementation differs. For non-HTML content, you may need to use HTTP headers or adjust settings in your content management system.
  4. How long does it take for a NoIndex tag to work?

    • It depends on when search engines next crawl your page. It can range from days to weeks.
  5. Can I remove the NoIndex tag later?

    • Yes, you can remove the NoIndex tag at any time to allow indexing in the future, subject to search engine recrawling and reindexing your page.


Implementing the NoIndex tag can help manage which content appears in search engine results, improving the quality of traffic to your site. It can also prevent searchers from accessing irrelevant, outdated, or private content, thereby enhancing the user experience and your site’s credibility.


The NoIndex tag is an essential tool in the SEO professional’s toolbox, allowing precise control over the visibility of webpages in search engine results. Using it wisely can protect your website from negative SEO impacts related to duplicate content, privacy breaches, and irrelevant search listings. It’s a strategic way to guide search engines towards your most valuable content, enhancing the overall discoverability and reputation of your site.

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