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What is the NoIndex Tag in Digital Marketing?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

Understanding the NoIndex Tag
The NoIndex tag is a small piece of HTML code that gets added to the ‘header’ field of particular pages on a website. Its primary purpose is to instruct search engine bots not to index that page. In essence, it's like placing a 'do not disturb' sign at the door of specific website pages, asking search engines to bypass them when scrolling through the web.
It's important to note that while NoIndex tags prevent indexing, it doesn't necessarily prohibit the search engine bots from crawling the page. However, the combination of NoIndex and NoFollow tags can prevent both crawling and indexing.
On a website, the NoIndex tag can either be Meta Robots, X-Robots Tag, or a Robots.txt file. The placing and usage of these tags should be strategic so that the website does not lose its credibility or organic traffic.
NoIndex Tag's Role in Digital Marketing
The NoIndex tag plays a pivotal role in digital marketing, particularly in SEO strategy. When there's duplicate content on different pages of a website, it may dilute the site's relevancy and authority, potentially negatively impacting the overall search engine ranking. By using the NoIndex tag, digital marketers can ‘hide’ these duplicate pages from search engine bots.
Another use of the NoIndex tag is when marketers want to restrict access to thank you pages or promotional landings that are designed only for individuals who have clicked through a specific campaign. Here, the NoIndex tag ensures that these pages remain unsearchable and exclusive.
Lastly, the NoIndex Tag becomes crucial when a website is under development or undergoing major overhauls. Indexing during such periods may expose unfinished or broken pages to the audience, which could harm the brand's reputation and SEO performance.
NoIndex Tag Examples
Typically, a NoIndex tag can be placed on a webpage using a few methods. First, it can be added directly to the HTML of a page, in the HEAD section:
This is perhaps the most common method used.
As an alternative, it can be implemented in the HTTP header:
X-Robots-Tag: noindex
This method is generally preferred for non-HTML files (PDFs, for instance).
Finally, for people who use WordPress, various SEO plugins allow the easy addition of NoIndex tags to posts or pages. An example is the Yoast SEO plugin, where you only need to click on the 'noindex' box under the 'advanced' tab of the plugin settings.