Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Nazmun Nahar on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 23, 2019).

Tagged noindex but still indexed by Google

Hi Guys, we just changed our hosting and now lots of pages indexed that was set to noindex using Yoast plugin. I see noindex tag on the "page source code" but still indexed by Google. Could you please advise why it`s happening.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Stockbridge Truslow: Adding a no-index directive doesn`t necessarily remove a page. All it does is say, "Don`t index it again, and don`t update it". EVENTUALLY the page will likely fall out of the index on its own, but it can take a while. If you want pages removed, use the Remove URLs tool in your Google Search Console. (And search for Google Remove URLs Tool to get more info on how to use it if you need it).
  • Nazmun Nahar: Stockbridge Truslow I don`t want to remove those pages. The problem is, no index tag is not working though I used noindex tag (through yoast plugin).
    FYI, robot.txt file is ok, didn`t use disavow the pages from there.
    No conflicting plugins used.
    Seems google see the noindex tag: but not sure why google is iignoring the tag.
    I`m facing this issue after changing the hosting.
  • Nazmun Nahar: here is one of the pages:
  • Stockbridge Truslow: I can`t see anything in the rich results test, but... when I go to the hospitality category, I see what appears to be a 404 page - yet that page gives a 200 response code. Something is amiss there.

    As for it appearing in the index - the "description" there is a "Lorem Ipsum" block - but I don`t see that on the page currently. This means that the page got indexed BEFORE you added the no-index directive. See my post above. If was ALREADY in the index before you added that.
  • Michael Martinez: If it`s a large site and there are no links pointing to the pages then it will take time for Google to get back to them. They are not hurting anything in the meanwhile. ADDED: If there are only a few pages then you can use the URL inspection tool to resubmit them for crawling. I`ve never tried that with a page set to "noindex". Either it will work or it won`t but it might be worth a test.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: Yeah - I agree - the fact that there aren`t actually any links to these pages could very well be a big factor in them not getting crawled with any regularity. (And by looking at the site just now, I couldn`t find a way to get to that page. Not even sure why it exists).
  • Nazmun Nahar: I checked all URLs and found they crawled recently. But Google didn`t get any noindex tag there though I see noindex tag in page source code.
  • Nazmun Nahar: I also didn`t find those pages but they are in the Google index. Is there any possibility that during hosting change the site structure changed and that causes this issue?
  • Nazmun Nahar: Now, should I disavow all these links in Google search console or disallow them in robot.txt? what do you think?
  • Stockbridge Truslow: As I said before... just adding "no-index" to a page`s meta is not enough to get it remove (immediately, anyway). It`s not a removal directive, it`s a "don`t add, don`t update" directive, for lack of a better term. They will fall out eventually, but that could be a month or a year from now.

    To get them out, use the URL removal tool.

    If you really don`t want the page even to be crawled - block it in robots.txt, too. It won`t hurt.

    BUT... I still can`t figure out why the page exists in the first place. There`s something else amiss in there. They should be just reporting a 404, it looks like - and if that were the case, nothing else discussed so far would matter since the pages don`t exist.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 23, 2019).

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