Yoast is the most popular Wordpress SEO plugin and comes loaded with a lot of features that can help you improve your blog’s performance. Setting up Yoast is easy and you do not have to make several modifications to get best results. Recently, Yoast has added several new features including those targeted at crawl optimization. There are several pages on a blog that you do not want to waste your crawl budget upon. So, you can manage these settings using Yoast Crawl Optimization settings.
However, there are also various types of archives in Wordpress and some of which may not be essential for you. You may want to disable these archives altogether or no index them unless you want those pages to be found in search results. It is generally not essential to set the archive pages to index since that can affect the rankings of your main pages. Sometimes the archive pages may end up ranking higher than your blog posts and hurt overall rankings.
The best option before you is to disable the archives you do not need. If you are running a single author blog, you do not need the author archives enabled. You can just disable the author archives to avoid their crawling and indexation. If you have a multi author blog and you want to keep the author archives, you can simply set the author archive pages to noindex. You can do the same with the date archives in Yoast. Unless you are showing date based archives on your blog posts, you do not need the date archives either which can be safely disabled using Yoast Wordpress SEO Plugin.
In this post, we will discuss how to use the Yoast SEO Plugin to disable author, date and format archives in Wordpress. As a bonus, you will read about disabling feeds in Wordpress with the help of Yoast SEO Plugin.
Disable Author Archives Using Yoast SEO:
There is no point of keeping the author archives on your blog, if it is a single author blog. It would only reduce the urls that need to be crawled regularly and save your crawl budget. In another case, if you need to keep these archives, you can set them to no index because you do not want your author archive urls competing with your post urls for ranking.
To Disable the author archives go to the settings in Yoast SEO. Nor scroll to the bottom and click on advanced to expand this section. Now, click on author archives. If author archives are enabled, you can disable the author archives from here by clicking on the toggle button.
Otherwise, if you want to keep them enabled and just want to no index them then keep the button next to enable author archives on. Below it, you will find the settings to noindex the author archives. Click on show author archives in search results and switch off the button. Now, these archives will remain enabled but will become noindexed.
Disable Date Archives Using Yoast SEO:
The date archives can also be disabled like the author archives. You can disable the date archives if you are not showing posts by months on your blog. It is generally safe to keep the date archives disabled on a Wordpress blog. The settings to disable the date archives can also be found where you disabled the author archives from.
Go to the Yoast SEO settings and scroll to the bottom. Now, click on advanced to expand this section and then click on date archives. You can completely disable the date archives by toggling the button next to enable date archives and switching it off. Otherwise, if you want to keep the date archives enabled but want to only change their search appearance and make them no index, then move to the section below it. Keep the archives enabled and then in the search appearance section toggle the button next to show date archives in search results to off. This will mark the date archives to noindex.
Disable Format Archives Using Yoast SEO:
The format based archives are also not necessary for a simple Wordpress blog. If you have Yoast installed on your blog, you can safely disable the format archives in Wordpress using this plugin. The settings to disable the format archives are found right below where you disabled the author archives and date archives from.
Go to the settings in Yoast SEO. Now, scroll to the bottom and then click on advanced to expand this section. Here, you will find the settings for format archives under the date archives. Click on format archives and then on the right, select to disable the format archives by toggling the button next to enable format archives to off.
Otherwise, you can simply no index the format archives on your blog. However, Googlebot will keep crawling those links in that case. So, if you do not want your crawl budget being wasted on crawling links like format archives, you can safely disable them. If you want to set them to no index, go to the search appearance section on the same tab. Now, toggle the button next to show format archives in search results to off. This will set the format archive urls to noindex.
Disabling Feeds in Wordpress
In the next section, we will discuss how to disable feeds in Wordpress. Wordpress automatically generates feed links. However, unless you are running a subscription based blog, you do not really need the feeds. You do not want these feed links getting indexed either. Many people use dedicated plugins to disable feeds. Yoast has added the feature to disable feeds in Wordpress including post feeds, comment feeds and other types of feeds including author feeds.
While sometimes it is good to disable feeds from the safety point of view, sometimes it becomes essential to disable these feeds. If Google keeps crawling unnecessary feeds like taxonomy feeds, it will exhaust your crawl budget. Moreover, if your feed links are getting indexed for some reason, you may want to disable or at least no index them.
Disable RSS Feeds in Wordpress using Yoast:
Yoast has recently added several features which are included in the crawl optimization category and whose point is to help you save your crawl budget for the crawling of your blog posts. You can disable the following feeds using Yoast Crawl Optimization feature:
Global feed: The feed links that provide an overview of post urls on your blog.
Global comment feeds: The feed links that provide an overview of the recent comments on your blog.
Post comment feeds: The feed links that provide an overview of the comments on your recent posts.
Post author feeds: The feed links that provide an overview of the recent posts by specific authors.
Post type feeds: The feed links that provide an overview of the recent posts for each post type.
Category feeds: The feed links that provide an overview of the recent posts for each post category.
Tag feeds: The feed links that provide an overview of the recent posts for each tag.
Custom taxonomy feeds: The feed urls that provide an overview of the recent posts for each of your custom taxonomies.
Search result feeds: The feed urls that provide an overview of your search results.
ATOM/RDF feeds: The feed urls that provide an alternative (legacy) format of all of the above.
In this way, you can see that there are several types of feed urls being produced by Wordpress and crawling all of them is not necessary for the googlebot. For example, if you have noindexed the internal search results on your blog, there is no point letting the searchbot crawl the search feeds. The same applies to tag feeds and custom taxonomy feeds. In most cases, we set the category and tag urls in Wordpress to no index.
To disable all or some of the above feeds, go to Yoast SEO settings. Click on the settings section and then scroll to the bottom. Now, click on advanced settings and select Crawl Optimization. In the middle of this section, you will find the features to disable the feed urls under the ‘Disable Unwanted Content Formats’ heading.
To disable the post feeds, you can simply click on remove global feed. Toggle the button and you can check by adding /feed to any post url and hitting enter. The feed link will now be redirected to the same post. This will prevent Google from crawling the feed links. You can remove all the feeds that you consider unnecessary and select to keep the ones you need. If you want to keep the post feed for your subscribers, you can still disable category feeds, tag feeds, search feeds and so on.