Noindex Your WordPress Search Pages


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A couple of weeks ago I logged into my Google Webmaster Tools account (if you don’t have one I highly recommend it) and I noticed under the “HTML Improvements” section there were dozens of pages with duplicate title tags.

Upon examination I discovered that the duplicates were normal posts and WordPress search pages that contained that same post as the first result (thus causing the title tag of the search page to be the same of the post).

The solution is pretty straight forward though: you just need to apply a noindex attribute to the search pages, telling Google that it should not store those pages on its index.

Apart from fixing the duplicate title tags problem this should also improve your overall SEO, as search pages are usually low value ones under Google’s eyes, so the fewer you have of those indexed, the better.

The easiest way to achieve this is by using a plugin. Robots Meta is one that does the trick, and it’s light-weight. If you want something more heavy-duty consider WordPress SEO, by the same developer (Yoast).

Curiously enough All in One SEO Pack doesn’t do that. If you know how to code, though, you can edit a single line to add the noindex to search pages.

As for checking whether or not you have the problem, simply perform a search on your blog, open the source code, and look for a tag like this one on the head section:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" />

If you can’t find it, then you probably need a plugin to fix that.

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3 Responses to “Noindex Your WordPress Search Pages”

  • Sajid Hussain

    Problem in SEO means ranking down in search results. Thank you so much for providing such great tip. I will implement with my blog.

  • faisal

    Doesn’t the sitemap plugin do that for you?

  • Mohit Yadav

    I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article

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