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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Noindex URL received organic search traffic

Noindex URL Receiving Organic Search Traffic: An SEO Puzzle

In SEO, encountering a noindex URL that still receives organic search traffic can be perplexing. This scenario suggests that despite being marked as noindex, the URL is still being indexed and receiving traffic, potentially indicating issues with search engines' interpretation of the site's directives.

The Core Issue

A URL marked noindex instructs search engines not to include it in their indices. However, if such a URL is still receiving organic traffic, it implies that this directive might be overlooked or not updated in search engine indices.

What Triggers the Hint?

This situation is flagged when a URL marked noindex still records clicks in Google Search Analytics or visits in Google Analytics. It's a discrepancy that needs investigation as it implies a disconnect between the site's directives and search engines' actions.

Scenarios to Consider

  1. Meta Noindex in HTML:

  • <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow"> in the <head> section of the HTML.

  1. Noindex in HTTP Header:

  • X-Robots-Tag: noindex in the HTTP header response.

Resolving the Issue

Understanding why a noindex URL is still appearing in search indices is crucial. Factors that might contribute to this include:

  • The URL is also disallowed in robots.txt, preventing crawlers from seeing the noindex tag.

  • Other URLs redirect to the noindex URL.

  • The noindex URL is canonicalized from other URLs.

  • The URL hasn't been recrawled recently and still exists in search indices.

Further Reading and Tools

  • Google's Index Coverage Status report for insights into how Google views your pages.

  • SEO resources on how conflicting website signals can confuse search engines.

How Loud Interactive Can Help

Loud Interactive specializes in diagnosing and resolving such SEO anomalies. We can analyze your site's indexing status, identify discrepancies in search engine interpretations, and implement strategies to align your site's indexing with your SEO goals.


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