Noindex Paginated Pages in Wordpress

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How to no index paginated pages in Wordpress

Wordpress is an excellent CMS for blogging. You can use this platform to create and manage just any type of website. There are several things that are great about Wordpress including the SEO features. You can take your blog ahead using SEO plugins which can ease your SEO related burden significantly. You will just need to create high quality content to rank higher.

However, there are some important things that we need to remain careful about while running a Wordpress blog. First of all, there are some important tools that every website owner must know of and use. The most significant one among them is the Google Search Console.

Submit your site to Google search console and constantly watch for changes to indexation status. You will find the solution to several SEO related issues lies in the Google Search Console. Inside the search console, you can check out which urls have been indexed by Google and which ones have not been and the reason they could not be indexed. You can also check out the sites linking to your website and many more things from the search console.

Indexation is one of the most critical concerns for webmasters. They need to watch out for wrong urls getting indexed since it will affect crawl rate and then rankings. People often try to know if paginated pages should be indexed or not indexed.

Some will advise you to not mark paginated pages as no index and let Google crawl each and every link. First of all Google does not need to crawl each and every link on your website. People use the robots.txt to disallow the files or urls they do not want to be crawled and indexed. While robots.txt is a good method for preventing crawling of certain sections of a website, no index is a more effective method in most cases to prevent Google from indexing useless pages.

If you want a certain page to be indexed by Google, you must add it to your sitemap. Google can directly visit those urls by following the urls included in your sitemap. It can leave the pages that are not included in the sitemap. Suppose, there is a blog with 500 posts. You can easily include those 500 post urls that form the main content of your website in the sitemap. Now, you want Google to index the main content of your website and present it in the search results. Rather than getting your paginated pages and category or tags pages indexed, you would like that Google directly visits the posts and present them in the search results. Google can find the same pages via paginated or category pages also. Now, unless otherwise required, you would not need those category pages, tag pages or paginated pages indexed since Google can already find all the necessary post urls through the sitemap.

What happens if your paginated pages are getting indexed in Google?

Getting paginated pages indexed is not a very good sign since you would like Google to crawl the main posts rather than spending your precious crawl budget on paginated, category or other archives pages. You can prevent the indexation of the paginated pages by applying a no index robots tag to them, which is possible through some SEO plugins. So, decide whether you want your paginated pages to be indexed by Google or not. What if those paginated pages get indexed and rank higher than your main content or post urls? In such a case, you would want to no-index the paginated pages and remove those which have gotten indexed already.

How to mark paginated pages as no index?

Paginated pages can be marked as no index using a SEO plugin in Wordpress. Some SEO plugin developers also find it safe to mark the paginated pages as no index. This is since getting paginated pages indexed can cause thin content or duplicate content related issues. In the case of a forum, you might want your paginated pages getting indexed but not in the case of a normal blog.

So, you can use a nice SEO plugin to mark your paginated pages as no index. Most SEO plugins except Yoast include this feature. However, even with Yoast, you can use a filter to mark paginated pages as no index.

It is however simpler to use a plugin that has this feature to mark the paginated pages as no index. You can use either Rank Math, AIOSEO or The SEO framework to mark paginated pages as no index.

Using Rank Math: In Rank Math, you can go to the settings for Misc pages, where you will find the setting to mark paginated pages as no index.There you will see the option to no index paginated single pages. You can enable this option to set no index on paginated pages which will prevent /page/2 and any other archives from showing up in the search results.

Using AIOSEO: The AIOSEO plugin allows you to mark the paginated pages as no index as well as no follow. Go to the global settings and switch off the default settings. Now, you will see the options to mark paginated pages as no index or no follow. Just check the necessary boxes and save the settings.

Using SEO Framework: SEO framework is a simple to use and lightweight yet advanced SEO plugin that includes almost all the useful features in a single page. Install SEO framework and then scroll down to the section titled Robots Meta Settings. There you will see the checkbox to no index every second or later archive pages. Just check the box and save the settings.

Paginated pages can many times prove very confusing in terms of SEO. If you do not face any issues or do not have any problem with paginated pages getting indexed, you do not need to make any changes. However, if you see that these pages are getting indexed and causing any trouble, you might want to mark them as no index.

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