Best Way to Index in WordPress for Google
written: 08.07.2016 | by: Maria | in: Blog
Have you ever wondered what is the best way to index in WordPress for Google? In WordPress default installation (without any additional plugins), all pages don’t have any specific meta tags for indexing. This means Google will just read and index all the pages like they are.
However, this is not the best practice. The best way, of course, always depends on your content, but in general, you should set your archive and category pages to “noindex, follow”. This means that Google will ignore the pages which lists many of your articles together on one page, like the blog’s main page where your posts are ordered chronologically.
Google will read your blog category page and follow all the links on that page.
The articles and pages should of course be set to “index, follow”, this means that Google, after following the links on the blog page, will read your blog post itself in the full view and index it.
So why this trouble to index?
Have you ever searched for something in Google, clicked on a search result and landed on a category page. On this page each of your keywords did match a part of another post? I have, and it is annoying.
Annoying for the one who is searching for something, and annoying for the page owner, because a visitor that clicked right away as soon as they landed on the page, does not help the Google ranking of that page at all.
The best practice for indexing in WordPress
So best way to index in WordPress for Google is to let the Google Crawlbot index only single content pages. Since you cannot do this in WordPress by default, you will need a plugin for that.
I do recommend the Yoast SEO plugin, which I use on my site, because it is so easy to use and takes almost automatically care of all your SEO needs. You can set the index and follow commands for categories, archives, tag-archives or even individually per post. (And it has many more functions, like helping you to do easily on-page SEO, create XML sitemaps, set right images and titles for social media sharing, etc.)
Exception that proves the rule
This is generic speaking, you should revive it individually for your website. In my case, for example, I have set a couple of content pages to “noindex”. This is because they contain information for my customers and do not give any value in terms of my keywords and SEO.
And as another exception, I have set the tag-archive for one of my freebie tags to “index”. This specific archive is driving a fair amount of organic search traffic to my site. In order to prevent double-content, I have added an individual tag description to that page. This gives visitors a bit heads up what this archive is about.
Do you wonder if your way of telling google what to index and what not is correct?
Feel free to drop some info in the comments (and a link to your site) and your question, I am happy to help! 🙂