Excluded by Noindex Tag

How to Fix Excluded by Noindex Tag Coverage Issue

Have you ever come across Excluded by Noindex tag in the Google search console? If so, what actions do you take?

We checked with multiple SEO practitioners; many exclude this issue on the lighter side. Few spend time fixing the problem.

But, you should be clear about why this issue has occurred. Are all the web pages marked “noindex” in the HTML robots tag, or is there any other internal problem causing them?

In this article, we will share all the secrets behind the reason and fixing methodologies.

What is Excluded by Noindex Tag?

Excluded by noindex tag - URL Inspection

This common Google Index coverage issue occurs when the “noindex” robots tag excludes a web page from indexing.

Usually, web admins exclude a few pages like category, pagination, etc., from indexing to save crawl budget.

If such web pages are excluded from indexing by the issue excluded by the noindex tag, then it’s fine. If not, the problems are serious that might affect the potential web page ranking.

How to Find Excluded by Noindex Tag Web Pages?

Google Search Console - Coverage Errors - Excluded
Excluded by noindex tag in Google search console
Exluded by Noindex Tag - Web pages that are excluded

You can check this Google index coverage report from the above images of the Google search console (GSC).

Under GSC, go-to coverage, you will be provided 4 options on the right side. Error, Valid with warming, valid, and Excluded.

To get the details about the issue excluded by the noindex tag, you should select an excluded option; you will get the list of URLs as seen in the third image.

Reasons that Causes Excluded by Noindex Tag:

Web Pages marked Noindex in Meta Robots Tag:

The important reason for this coverage issue is when a web page is marked ‘noindex’ in the meta robots tag.

This is common, and if the potential page is not marked under ‘noindex’, it’s time to relax. It doesn’t hurt your SEO or ranking.

Redirected Page Might have Noindex Robots Tag:

When you redirect (301/302) a web page can also excluded by noindex tag, when the destination web page is marked ‘noindex’ in robots tag.

This issue was discussed in search console help forum, where a web page that was excluded from indexing because of redirection (302).

CMS Settings Discouraging Search Engine Visibility:

Website discouraged from search engine visibility in WordPress settings

Quite often, this setting of discouraging websites from search engine visibility is available in most CMS (Content Management System).

Above, we have attached the settings of WordPress.

This options are actually switched on while developing a website to avoid them from indexing until the website launch.

Unfortunately, this setting wouldn’t have switched off, and finally, make website to exclude from indexing.

Malfunction caused by Plugins

Few plugins can cause an issue in root codes that trigger robots tag to be noindex, even after editing through SEO plugins like Rankmath or Yoast.

This issue happens when you have security plugins like iTheme security. It can be the same when you use a crack version of any plugins.

Returning to the security plugin, why do these plugins cause an issue? These plugins run as firewalls.

Third-party servers host these firewalls, and they have x-robots tags. If this x-robots tag has a ‘noindex’ robots command, it’s a waste of time to change the base code or the plugins.

Looking to Fix Excluded by ‘robots’ tag? You’re just away from a mail!!!

How to Fix Excluded by Noindex Tag Issues?

Before moving on to fix this issue, you should look at a few parameters,

  • Are the web pages under this exclusion marked ‘noindex’ robots tag by you.
  • Is the affected page has the ranking potential or target web page?

When you see potential pages get affected, you should focus on fixing them spontaneously. If not, focus on other issues that need immediate attention.

Here are the ways to fix this issue,

Check & Fix the Robots Tag of the Web Page:

Page Source Code

You check the details of source codes of any web page by right click, and selecting view page source.

You will opened with a page same as the above image.

Here you can check the robots tag of the web page. It appears as follows,

meta name="robots" content="index"/>

If robots tag is ‘index’, then use Google search console to request manual indexing.

If robots tag appears as below,

meta name="robots" content="noindex"

Your robots tag is noindex, and it should be fixed by these steps,

  1. Command you developer to change the robots tag to ‘index’ in the base file of the web page
  2. Use SEO plugins like Rankmath, Yoast, or others to edit the robots tag.
  3. Once you change the robots tag to ‘index’, submit the URL in Google search console for manual index requesting.
Fixing Excluded by noindex tag using Rankmath plugin

Remove Redirects to Noindex Pages:

If you diagnose any web page returns with response code 301 or 302, and the destination page is noindex, you must remove the redirection.

If the destination page has a ‘noindex’ robots tag, it might also affect the redirecting web pages.

Fix X-Robots Tag:

When your website is hosted in a third-party server like Cloudflare for firewall or CDN, you must fix the X-Robots tag as ‘index’ before setting it in the base file.

Our advice would be not to use cracked plugins that could cause severe damage to indexing.

Make Sure your CMS encourage Search Engines Visibility:

Always avoid discouraging the website’s visibility to search engines in the CMS setting.

This could be a reason for web pages tagged under excluded by noindex tag.

Conclusion:

  • Excluded by robots tag is one of the common index coverage reports that appear in excluded part of Google Search Console.
  • This issue often happens when your web pages are mapped under ‘noindex’ in the robots tag.
  • If you have mapped them in ‘noindex,’ this is not an issue, just a notification.
  • When you diagnose a potential page mapped under ‘noindex,’ you must fix them immediately.
  • I hope the reason and fixing methods were useful.
  • If you need any technical SEO assistance, you can fix an appointment with our team.

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