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Wordpress Categories: To Index/follow Or To Noindex/follow?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 SERPico

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 08:05 PM

Hi Guys,

I'm wondering what the best course of action is for me.

I've set up my WordPress platform to function more like a CMS then a basic blog.

The category index pages are unique, in design and page titles, description tags.

Inner category pages have a different appearance (Different template then the category index page) because these will only function as a article archive.

These inner category pages aren't that important apart from the links to the individual post entries, so it's important to have engines follow these links, but would it be equally important to have these paged category pages indexed?

Reading the WordPress SEO guide by Joost de Valk where it's advised to throw them out of the index all together, but have links in the categories followed.

Using different templates for the category index and paged category pages i can have the main category index page indexed and followed and the paged category pages noindex and followed...would this be a good move to make?

Or would i be shooting myself in the foot?

Thanks in advance for your input!

#2 Randy

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 08:03 AM

I'm not sure I'm following the plot exactly SERPico, so a couple of questions.

Are the individual post pages going to be available from both the main category index page and from the inner category pages? I'm guess they are, otherwise you probably wouldn't want to disable indexing from the inner category pages. As opposed to a more tree-like structure where the main category index listed/linked to the inner category pages and they then linked to the individual post pages.

Assuming that's what you're dealing with and asking about, I'm not sure it's going to make much of a difference one way or another. Especially since presumably real users will be able to use either path. Yes you're giving the engines and users a more direct path (fewer clicks) by listing/linking to the post pages from the main category page, which is a good thing all around, but if you deindex the inner category pages you're costing yourself a some additional interior links to those post pages.

#3 SERPico

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 12:44 PM

Hi Randy,

The category index page will contain links to articles as long as they remain on the category index, when you get more articles coming in those links will be pushed further down to the inner category pages.

So mainly those articles are only accessible by the inner category pages, search engines will be able to find those pages by following the links on the inner category pages.

The main category index pages will be the most important pages, these will be the center of attention, acting sort of like hubs to other sub pages...not all pages but the most important ones. Remaining pages will be linked from the inner category pages and some from sub pages and from sources other then my own site.

Other then linking to individual article entries, those inner category pages have no function. I think that's why Joost described in his guide to throw them out of the index. The links will be followed by Google, just not indexed.

So even if those pages aren't indexed, I would still gain those interior links because they are followed.



Now i had some more time to think about it, it's probably not a good idea for me to noindex those inner category pages.
It might give off a wrong signal if those pages are marked as noindex and links won't be crawled as often if those pages where just being indexed like any other page, just speculation from my part though. smile.gif

#4 Jill

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 01:30 PM

I can't imagine ever wanting to noindex a page unless it was a duplicate URL to something you have elsewhere.

#5 SERPico

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 03:47 PM

Hi Jill smile.gif

A login page for example would be a good page to noindex/nofollow in my opinion, even if a page holds a noindex tag, it can still obtain/flow pagerank. So you would have to nofollow the whole page to stop the page from flowing pagerank and therefore accumulating pagerank from incoming links from outside sources.


I rather like to see pages gain pagerank that really need it, so my initial thoughts to noindex/follow the inner category pages wouldn't really have that much of the effect I'm after. I would have to nofollow all links on those pages as well and that's not going to work well.

#6 Jill

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 04:35 PM

I love inner category pages. They get lots of PageRank naturally (as they should because they're important) and they can rank for so many things and bring so much traffic.

To me, those are the pages people should optimize, not disallow them from the index.


#7 SERPico

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 07:58 PM

When it comes to WordPress the only category page worth optimizing is for example when removing the category base an URL that would look like this:

DigiReviews.com/canon-cameras/

Not: DigiReviews.com/canon-cameras/page/2/ and follow up pages

The category index pages are the ones that gets the most page rank and yes, those pages should because the category index pages are important.

Without making the right adjustments to WordPress all those /page/2/ and follow up inner category pages all have the same page title as the main index category page.

That's not really helpful to actually optimize a individual page, in this case a category index page.

You can push WordPress only so far to make the category main index page completely unique, but the paged pages will have to have the same page title or with a little customizing you can make it add for example: "Crafted Title" page #

But that doesn't really make that much of a difference, all your category inner index pages will have very similar page titles.

My category pages only contains excerpts, because otherwise you would have duplicate content.

For WordPress based sites you don't want your inner category pages ranking (the paged ones), you want your actual article pages ranking, or the main category index in my case because i create my category index pages in such a way they have custom content on it that isn't found on the inner category pages.


QUOTE
To me, those are the pages people should optimize, not disallow them from the index.

When it comes to inner category pages, the paged category pages, i would have to disagree with you on this for WordPress specific websites.

Because why would you want to optimize a collection of pages with near duplicate page titles and containing excerpts only, excerpts used specifically to prevent duplicate content issues...to prevent Google choosing between two or more pages which one should be the one given more priority?

For WordPress that doesn't make sense, for other CMS's this may make sense (Due to more flexibility), but not for WordPress in my opinion.

#8 jg123

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 08:52 PM

Some of my wordpress category pages get a nice amount of traffic for ranking for some decent key phrases so I say don't no-follow them.

#9 SERPico

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 06:54 AM

When you say your category pages do you mean your main index category pages or your paged category pages?

If it's your paged category pages then do you use full posts or excerpts?
When using full posts then the traffic is because Google chooses your paged category page over your actual article page and that's not good.

Your main category index pages are understandably receiving traffic because of the inner links and links from outside sources that help those pages rank.



#10 Jill

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:45 AM

As I originally said:

QUOTE
I can't imagine ever wanting to noindex a page unless it was a duplicate URL to something you have elsewhere.


From what you've written, it appears we are talking about duplicate stuff, so yeah in that case, it makes sense to not have them indexed.

#11 SERPico

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 05:47 AM

Yep, do you think it would affect link crawls in a negative way if those category inner pages are noindex but are dofollow?

#12 seodesire

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE(SERPico @ Jun 2 2009, 11:47 AM) View Post
Yep, do you think it would affect link crawls in a negative way if those category inner pages are noindex but are dofollow?


I've found using limit posts on all other pages, tags, categories, archives etc and only allowing category to be indexed is quite alright, although I'm now seriously considering no indexing them all and doing more internal lining structure something which I'm about to mak a thread about.

#13 jon-d

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:13 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 1 2009, 08:45 AM) View Post
As I originally said:
From what you've written, it appears we are talking about duplicate stuff, so yeah in that case, it makes sense to not have them indexed.


The problem with WP is it duplicates content on seperate url's. Which isnt what you said at all Jill- You specifically said duplicate url's. You will need to decide which pages you want the content indexed on and exclude the others- ie catergory or archive pages. "all in one seo" plugin will do this for you automatically.



#14 Jill

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 08:50 AM

QUOTE
Which isnt what you said at all Jill- You specifically said duplicate url's.


You are right. My bad. I meant duplicate information on DIFFERENT URLs. Thanks for pointing that out!

#15 seocms

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:09 PM

Hi Jill,

I want to index my categories in my wordpress site. I usually have one article assigned to 2 to 3 categories. Would this be okay to do have the categories index or just have one category index of all the 3 and do a noindex/dofollow for the the other categories. What do you think about this Jill.

Anyone else can suggest is much appreciated!

Thank you for the help

Edited by seocms, 12 February 2010 - 03:14 PM.





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