By default anything you post and publish on WordPress website is read and indexed by search engines bots from Google, Bing and more. Based on the quality of your content, search engine then starts sending visitors to your website. There are times when you want to block search engines from reading and indexing specific content on your WordPress website. This can be easily done using different robots meta setting for specific post or page on WordPress website.
Which Robots Meta settings to prevent indexing
Whenever a post or page is published, it is by default set to INDEX FOLLOW. Generally we use NOINDEX FOLLOW setting for categories and tags pages. While NOINDEX NOFOLLOW is used for error pages and search pages.
NOINDEX – prevents the page from being included in the index
NOFOLLOW – prevents Googlebot from following any links on the page
Above is basic meaning of NOINDEX and NOFOLLOW meta values. You can use NOINDEX FOLLOW to block indexing of specific post but allowing Google bot to follow links on that post. Also, you may use NOINDEX NOFOLLOW to disable indexing and preventing Google box to follow links on specific post.
1. Use plugins to control Meta Settings
WordPress Meta Robots is good plugin if you are only looking to add meta settings to your WordPress theme. Using this plugin you can control the indexing behavior of search engines for any post or page.
After install, you should see new section “Meta Robots” on right side of the post editor. You can select either option like NOINDEX NOFOLLOW for controlling indexing status of specific post or page.
SEO by Yoast is a comprehensive SEO plugin with in-built meta robots feature. After install and activation look for “WordPress SEO by Yoast” box under post editor.
Click on the “Advanced” tab and look for “Meta Robots Index” and “Meta Robots Follow” options at the top. Select either of meta robots value as per your requirement. This setting is specific for individual post or page on WordPress blog.
2. Use Meta Settings in-built in WordPress Theme
Some WordPress themes has in-built meta settings feature and you do not need use plugins for the same. For example: Studiopress Child Themes for Genesis Framework has meta settings feature by default from the start.
This setting should be carefully used as it blocks search engine from reading your content and thereby sending visitors. If you set wrong robots meta, you could lose valuable search engine traffic. Only use it when you actually want to block search engine access to specific content on your WordPress website.