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Thread: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

  1. #1
    vivekrpatel is offline Member
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    What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    Blocking the robots by setting up nofollow, noindex isn't effective. The pages are still being indexed. I do not want the pages to be indexed.

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    JoyHawkins is offline Top Contributor & Featured Author
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    Re: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    Are there links pointing to the pages? I find that if it has do-follow backlinks sometimes Google ignores what you tell them.
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    James Watt is offline Top Contributor
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    Re: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    Joy's right, though noindex nofollow I've found will usually un-index a page eventually, even with links. Just that if it has a lot of links pointing and it has a good amount of page authority, it can take quite a long time for Google to decide to make the switch (months... years?)

    Another issue too, did you by chance change your robots.txt file too? If you tell Google bot not to look at a page at all, it won't see the noindex tag, and won't know to pull the page from the index. In other words, telling Google bot not to crawl a page, and telling Google bot not to index a page are two different things. You want it to be able to see the page so it knows not to index.

    Incidentally, if you wanted to do a large number of pages with the noindex nofollow tag, it might be easier to use the x-robots-tag header with a line of code in your htaccess file to basically set a large block of pages with a noindex nofollow equivalent all at once. Makes it much easier to maintain and update, depending on what you're doing.

    You can speed things up quite a bit by using Google's url removal request tool. You'll need to have Google Search Console set up on the site, and while it's not full-proof, if you have the noindex tag set, it should go through. Google says though that they won't make it permanent unless the page is 404/410d. You could potentially take the page down for a week and do the URL removal if it's super important it disappears ASAP from results, and it's a page that the site's user base could go without for a bit.
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    Scott ClientClicks is offline Member + GMB
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    Re: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    If you are using Wordpress and linking to a page that you want hidden from Google, but that page is linked from your menu navigation, I learned yesterday that Wordpress has a built-in way to enable no-follow in a menu. That option is hidden by default

    If that's your issue, from the WP dashboard, go to Appearance/Menu and then in the upper right corner, click on screen options and enable Link Relationship (XFN). Now, from your menu, you'll have a new blank where you can enter in nofollow.

    http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutoria...igation-menus/
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    vivekrpatel is offline Member
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    Re: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post
    Are there links pointing to the pages? I find that if it has do-follow backlinks sometimes Google ignores what you tell them.
    Yes, there are some links pointing to the pages as well so may Google is ignoring those pages.

    Thank you for the answer, Joy.

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    vivekrpatel is offline Member
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    Re: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    Hey James,

    Thank you for the detailed answer and pointing out the robots.txt file. Somehow I missed this.

    I think it would be easier to use the x-robots-tag header because we have a large number of pages.

    Thanks again.
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  7. #7
    vivekrpatel is offline Member
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    Re: What are the effective ways to stop pages being indexed by Google?

    Hi Scott,

    Honestly saying I don't know about the WordPress option. This will definitely help us for WordPress based website.

    Thanks for the quick suggestions.

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