Robots meta tag
  • 16 Apr 2024
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Robots meta tag

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Article summary

The robots meta tag is used to control how search engine crawlers interact with your web page. It provides instructions to search engine bots on whether to index the page, follow links, or archive its content. Here are some common directives used in the robots meta tag:

Robots meta tag is missing

Why missing the robots meta tag is problematic?

Not having a robots meta tag can lead to various issues, such as:

  • Unintended Indexing: Pages that you don't want indexed might get indexed by search engines, which can lead to duplicate content issues or exposure of sensitive information.
  • Uncontrolled Link Flow: Without directives like "nofollow," search engines may follow and pass link equity to pages that you don't want to prioritize in search rankings.
  • Cached Content: Without the "noarchive" directive, search engines may cache your content, which could pose issues if your content is updated frequently or if you have privacy concerns.

It's worth noting that not all pages on your website contribute to your search engine rankings. The pages that are most valuable for your SEO efforts are the ones that provide helpful information and address your visitors' inquiries. However, certain pages, such as your admin, login, and thank-you pages, should not appear on search engine results pages. This is where the robot's meat tag comes into play.

By using the robots meta tag, you get to manage how search engines interact with your website. This way, you can ensure that your content is presented in the way you want and minimize any potential negative impacts on your SEO efforts or user experience. In other words, the robots meta tag is a crucial tool for controlling how search engines crawl and index your site.

If your webpage does not include a robots meta tag, search engine crawlers will automatically apply their own rules for indexing and following links. However, this may not align with your SEO goals, particularly if you have pages that you do not wish to be indexed or if you have specific instructions for how search engines should interact with your content. Therefore, it is important to include a robots meta tag in your webpage code to ensure that search engines behave in a manner that is consistent with your desired outcomes.

How do I add the robot meta tag correctly?

Simply include it within the <head> section of your HTML document. 

Please keep in mind to modify the directives as per your requirements.
After adding the robots meta tag, use tools like Google's Search Console to test that search engines interpret the directives correctly.


<!DOCTYPE html>
    <!-- Other meta tags, title, and CSS links go here -->

    <!-- Robots meta tag -->
    <meta name="robots" content="index, follow">
     <!-- content="index, follow" provides instructions to search engine bots, telling them to index the page and follow the links on it.-->
    <!-- Your page content goes here -->

You can customize the `content` attribute based on your specific requirements. 

For example:

  • noindex: To prevent search engines from indexing the page.
  • nofollow: To prevent search engines from following the links on the page.
  • noarchive: To prevent search engines from caching a copy of the page.
  • nosnippet: To prevent search engines from displaying a snippet of the page's content in search results.

Here's an example of a robots meta tag with multiple directives:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow, noarchive">

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