• Cass Downton

How to No-Index in Wix

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Fact Checked by: Dr. Marie Haynes

What is a ‘noindex’ tag?

A ‘noindex’ tag is a parameter which prevents that page from being indexed in a Search Engine. Generally, there are two directives you can use with the ‘noindex’ parameter to block indexing:

  1. Meta robots tag

  2. X-robots-tag

Either one will prevent your page from being indexed. The meta robots tag is found in the HTML code within the <head> section of that page, and is specific to only the page that the tag is used on. As an example, if you wanted to specify to all Search Engine crawlers that the page should not be indexed, your meta robots tag would look like this:

<meta name=”robots“ content=”noindex”>

If you only wanted to instruct a certain crawler not to index your page, you would replace the meta name of ‘robots’ with whichever crawler you want to give the directive to. For example, you would use ‘Googlebot’ if you wanted to keep your page out of Google’s index, or ‘Bingbot’ if you wanted to prevent your page from being included in Bing’s index.

Conversely, the x-robots-tag is used as part of the HTTP header response and has a lot more flexibility than the meta robots tag does. You can use this directive to control indexing of your entire site as a whole, as well as indexing certain sections of a page only -- such as non-HTML content like Flash, or a specific element of that page, like a video. Because the x-robots-tag can only be used within the header response, you need to have access to the website’s htaccess file.

In Wix, you have the option to insert a meta robots ‘noindex’ tag into the <head> of your page, but you cannot add an x-robots-tag. This means you are able to prevent individual pages from being indexed. Currently, it is not possible to add a no-index parameter to any “posts” on your Wix website -- only “pages.”

Best Practices: When should a ‘noindex’ tag be used?

A ‘noindex’ directive should be used when you want to prevent one or more pages from appearing in the search results.

Google and Bing both are case-insensitive, meaning that you can use ‘Googlebot’ or ‘googlebot’ (as well as ‘Bingbot’ or ‘bingbot’) without there being an issue with the crawler recognizing the ‘noindex’ parameter. However, it is best practice to be consistent in whichever case you choose to use.

Here are some examples where the use of a no-index directive might be appropriate:

  • You’ve got a page on your site that may be useful to users but wouldn’t be to searchers, i.e. a forum profile or tag page that is unlikely to generate any search traffic or offer any value to searchers if a searcher were to land on it.

  • Your site has thin content that can’t easily be consolidated with other pages on the site. Say, for example, you’ve got an information directory on your site organized by letter, each letter has its own unique page/URL and many of these pages have only a sentence or two of text on them. It may be appropriate to no-index these pages.

  • You’ve got category pages or archive pages that aren’t useful to land on from search but are worth keeping on your site for usability purposes. We often see this with blogs. A blog may have a generic category such as, “Cars,” and this category page might have a handful of blogs listed on it. However, it is not a particularly valuable page; it has some articles listed, sure, but it is generic, not a particularly good resource about cars, and is not likely to ever rank competitively for a query so broad. A user might click on the “cars” category while on the site to find more content on your blog about cars, but it might not be a page worth indexing. In other words, the blog category page could be valuable as a way of organizing your content, but it may not have a useful purpose for search. If that’s the case, a no-index is often a good way to handle the situation.

  • You have log-in pages that help your users or staff access the backend of the site and do not want these easily findable in search.

  • You have a lot of duplicate content on the site and a canonical does not make sense for the situation.

Keep in mind that Google has said every page that is in the index counts towards their assessment of site quality. Good strategic use of the no-index directive can ensure that only your most valuable content is being indexed by keeping duplicate, thin, or otherwise low-quality content out of the index.

You’ll also want to consider that Google has said long-term no-indexing of pages leads Google to discontinue following links on a page over time. Therefore, you’ll want to consider whether or not a page has important links pointing to/from it and whether these links are important to Google’s ability to crawl and discover other parts of your website before implementing the no-index directive.

Common Problems with ‘Noindex’

Page is not able to be crawled

Crawlers, such as Googlebot, need to be able to “see” the ‘noindex’ directive in order to follow it. This means that the page cannot be blocked by your site’s robots.txt file. If Googlebot is not allowed to crawl that page, there is no way for it to know that you’ve specified it not be indexed.

To solve this, check your robots.txt file to make sure you are not blocking that page from being crawled.

If you have a page that is currently indexed but you want to remove it and tell Google not to crawl it anymore, you will first need to add the ‘noindex’ parameter and wait for Googlebot to re-crawl that page. Once it has, the page should be dropped from the index. Then you can block it from being crawled by indicating this within your robots.txt.

Wix automatically generates your site’s robots.txt file and it is not possible to edit it. If you have Wix site, this is likely not going to be an issue for you.

There is a ‘noindex’ directive somewhere in the <body> of your page

While a meta robots tag is only supposed to go in the <head> section of a page, Search Engines will still respect a ‘noindex’ parameter even if it is only found within the <body> of a page. This is uncommon, but it can happen inadvertently through things such as plugins or a piece of code that happens to contain a ‘noindex’ parameter.

To check if this is the reason your page is not indexed, Gary Illyes from Google suggests that the easiest way is through Chrome’s Developer Tools. You can open this from within Chrome’s toolbar by clicking on View > Developer > Developer Tools. Once this is open, a simple CTRL-F for “noindex” will show you any and all instances of ‘noindex’ within the <body>.

How to Implement ‘Noindex’ in Wix

As mentioned, you can only implement a no-index tag on your Wix pages currently, not individual Wix blog posts. Our understanding is that this functionality will be expanded to also include Wix blog posts eventually.

To no-index a page within Wix, open up the Wix site editor, click on the current page, and press ‘Manage Pages’ within the drop down menu:

From there, hover over the page you’d like to no-index, press the ellipsis icon, and select SEO:

Scroll to the bottom of the page settings window and you will see a “Show this page in the search results” toggle button:

A blue bar and checkmark means it is currently set to indexed. Switching this off will add a meta robots no-index tag to the header of the page.

If for some reason you need to no-index your entire website, navigate to the Wix Dashboard -> Settings -> Wix SEO. You’ll see a section labeled “SEO Status” that allows you to decide whether the site should be included in search.

Cass Downton

Cassandra Downton was raised in a military family and grew up at a number of Canadian Forces bases across Canada and in Europe. She specialized in microbiology at the University of Waterloo before working several years in Regulatory and Quality Assurance for the pharmaceutical industry.

She eventually targeted her attention to detail and problem-solving skills towards SEO, and has become especially interested in understanding the technical analytics that Google uses to track website traffic.


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