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Today’s Question: This is a question by Irfan Siddiqui from realtimetricks.com and he is facing issues with Site indexing. He owns a WordPress blog and despite of having noindex tag on his Tags and categories pages, Google has indexed WordPress tags and categories pages.
Google Indexing Issue with WordPress Attachment, tags & categories ?
This is one of the common indexing issue where Google indexes few pages from your blog and despite of adding noindex tag, such pages are part of Google. This is normal and as soon as Google will recrawl your site, it will respect the noindex tag and will deindex such part of your Blog. This may take some time but here are few things which you can do to speed up the process.
Make sure your Robots.txt is not blocking access to tags and categories pages, as best way to stop indexing is using Noindex tag. If few of your pages are already indexed in Google and you have added noindex tag and also stopped crawling of that part of your site, Google may not recrawl particular section of your site and will never see noindex tag. Robots.txt exclusion is useful for parts like Wp-admin and Wp-content.
- Useful tips to increase Google crawl rate
- Use Robots.txt to protect your blog from Duplicate content issue
More over, it’s not a good idea to stop crawling of pages like tags and categories using robots.txt as it will hamper the crawling of your deeper pages. The best way to stop indexing is by adding noindex tag, which you can easily do by using WordPress SEO by yoast or meta robots plugin.
Now in the case of Irfan blog, he has not blocked the tags and categories pages using Robots.txt but before adding noindex tags, Google have already indexed those pages. Here is a quick solution for anyone facing the similar problem.
You can check what pages of your sites are indexed in Google by typing site:domain.com in Google search.
Make sure you use the noindex option for tags and categories pages in WordPress SEO by yoast or Meta robots plugin. If you are using Thesis theme, you can find this option under Site option > Document head > Robots meta tag > Noindex categories and tags.
- Login to Google Webmaster tool
- Site dashboard > Optimization > Remove URL’s
Now usually our tags and categories pages are seen as directory from search point of view. For example:
We can use the directory removal option to remove the complete directory from noindex tag and within 24-48 hours all your categories and tag pages will be out of Google index.
So you need to add www.domain.com/tag/ and www.domain.com/category/ and select Remove directory option , hit submit request and you got rid of tags and categories pages from search index.
- What is common WordPress duplicate content issue and fixes
- How to noindex WordPress categories and tags
Getting rid of WordPress attachment ID links
This is another thing which not only create duplicate content issue but also add low quality content in Google search. We can again fix this issue by using Meta robots or WordPress SEO by yoast plugin. Though, here is a practice which you should always try to maintain. When you upload an image, make sure your Image link URL is either blank or if you want to make it clickable, use link to image option. See below screenshot for detailed explanation:
This will ensure no such links will be indexed in future and additionally here are configuration settings for plugins which I mentioned above:
Robots meta plugin settings:
Settings > Robots meta settings > Permalink Settings > Put a tick mark on “Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL.”
WordPress SEO by yoast setting:
WordPress dashboard > SEO > Permalink Settings > Put a tick on “Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL.”
That’s it and it will redirect all such >attachment_id= links to respective post and in few days Google will deindex all such links.
I hope this quick solution will help you anybody facing the similar issue. Do let me know, if you ever faced the similar WordPress indexing issue like irfan?