Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Why you should use the NOINDEX tag

Why use the NOINDEX tag to stop Google indexing a page? Surely the more content Google indexes the better?

Here's why:

Above is a screenshot of what Google currently thinks the four most relevant keywords are for KeepMeBooked, a site offering web-based hotel reservation software.

1. Software
OK, fair enough

2. Islands.
Eh? "Islands"? Where does the word "Islands" appear on this site? Answer: the signup page. Thirty times. Because the signup page has a country list for the user to select from, and there are thirty countries in the world with the word "Islands" in their name. And with not much other content on that page, it appears to Google that this page is, er, about islands.

3. Tortoise
My company is called Tortoise Software (as in "Hare and Tortoise" if you are wondering), and that appears in the footer. But hardly very prominent, why is Google thinking this is the third-most relevant keyword? Because it appears 12 times in the Terms and Conditions page, making it a very prominent word on that page

4. Republic
See 2. above.

If Google hadn't indexed the Terms and Signup pages, it would probably have put more prominence on words like "guesthouse", "availability", and "bookings", which would have been a little more helpful.

Easily fixed, though.

(cross-posted at blog.keepmebooked.com)

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