Should we index or noindex WordPress Category, Tags for SEO?

Tips for your WordPress Blog Tags SEO, WordPress Category SEO about indexing for Search Engines - check it out!

Indexing Tags & Categories

Short Answer: There is no straight forward yes/no answer to this question. If you are running a typical Blog using WordPress, where your category and tag pages only contain excerpt from belonging posts, then the answer is no, you shouldn't allow search engines to index your category and tag pages. If you have unique content to those category and tag pages, then the answer is yes, you should index them for better SEO.

Noindex Category & Tag pages if they contain only post excerpt & no unique content

Here is why you shouldn't index tag/category pages with no unique content & only excerpts from posts:

Search engines rank your pages using internal and external linking to and from your pages: higher the incoming link, higher the rank + higher the rank of the incoming links higher the rank of your link.

Each search engine has it's own ranking algorithm, but the basic idea is the same. You may not have any control over the external linking, so I'm giving an example only using internal linking. say you have three blog entries:, and

and these blog entries are under the category named Site Review:

Now notice that, the Site Review category page will have linking from all three blog posts, but each of these posts will be linked only once from the category page itself. So, search algorithms will give the category page higher priority!

So in essence, if users search something and find your site in the result, in most cases they will find your category page instead of the post that contains the original information. This is a typical case. Because in a typical installation, Category pages of your blog contain only excerpts (i.e. a short description) from the original posts.

So, for a typical WordPress Category SEO, where you have no other unique content for that category, it's safe to index your blog entries only & make category pages noindex

The same applies for WordPress Tags SEO as well. Because in a typical installation, Tag pages of your blog also contain only excerpts from the blog posts. So you almost always gain nothing by indexing your tag pages that only contain post excerpts.

So make the typical tag pages noindex as well (if the tag pages contain no unique content),  for better blog tags SEO.

Same applies for blogs other than WordPress as well. However, if you run a different type of site (something other than blogging), then this decision will solely depend on the type of your site and the content they have.

Index Category & Tag pages if they contain unique content

Do your category or tag pages have additional content other than the post excerpts or do they have added value to your site in any other meaningful way?

If the answer is yes, then go ahead and index them. If the answer is no, then don't index your category and tag pages.

There is a very good WordPress plugin named Yoast SEO that can manage all these for you. So install this plugin and configure everything you need from the admin panel of the plugin.

Remember that search engines will still crawl your category and tag pages, regardless of your indexing in the XML sitemap or search bot setting (either in meta tag or in robot.txt file).  The only affect of not indexing them (where appropriate) is: they (category and tag pages) will not have higher ranking over the individual blog entries and pages.

Also, note that while giving the above suggestion, I've assumed that in your WordPress installation (or any other blog), the category and tag pages have a higher degree of incoming internal links. This can differ from theme to theme, but in most cases they do have higher incoming links than individual posts.

To go a step further: you better have unique content in all of your category and tag pages and then index them to get ranking for terms that are specific to those category and tag pages only.

Let's revisit the example: lets say your posts on Google, Bing and Yahoo contains information on how good or bad these search engines are and specific tips on how people can get most benefit from the specific search engines. We've already assumed that they are under site review category, now let's also assume that the posts have two common tags named Advanced Search Tips & Tricks ( & Search Engine Comparison ( If you were following my post carefully, you already know what I'm doing here. Yes, you've guessed it right!

At the beginning, you'll only have post excerpts on those tags and category pages. So you'll give them noindex, so that if someone search for "Yahoo Search pros and cons" in google, your post will show up, not the category page or the tag page

However, as you can see yourself, those category and tag pages are a great opportunity to rank on a different set of keywords! So write at least a 300 words article on the site review category page, for example, what is a site review, how did you reviewed the sites, whether or not you'll review a site on request from your visitors etc. etc. So your category page will now have unique text content on site review, and the belonging excerpts from your Google, Yahoo and Bing posts will only come after that content. Same applies for the tags. Write at least 300 words articles (Yoast SEO plugin will allow you to write articles on tag pages) on Advanced Search Tips & Tricks and Search Engine Comparison tag pages. At this point, go back and make these category and tag pages to index.

Now search algorithms will correctly rank your posts on specific related terms and at the same time, your category and tags pages will be ranked for keywords like "site review", "advanced search tips", "search engine comparison" etc. etc. but none of them will compete with each other, because they don't have duplicate content now. Isn't that Great!

To summarize: Index category and tag pages only when you have unique content in those pages, until then, keep them with noindex. If some of them have unique content and some of them don't, then give them index and noindex accordingly.

Happy blogging 🙂

71 thoughts on “Should we index or noindex WordPress Category, Tags for SEO?”

  1. Pure awesomeness lol. Thanks for the post.

    I was wondering why one of my tag pages was number 2 for a local keyword I'm targeting and my post for the topic was number 3. Pissed me off to be honest haha coz I wanted my post, the one with the google pic for authors to be number two.

    I have no way of beating out number one so I figured the pic might draw a bit more clicks than just normal text. I'm only a couple of months into blogging so wasn't sure how important this deindexing thing was. Read about it before but I figured the more pages indexed the better haha.

    Anyway, lesson learned, thanks.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I just started a blog last week and did a search to see if one of my posts was coming up in the rankings and was surprised to see my tag page. I just disabled the indexing.

  3. Nice information you shared with us, I was looking for this kind of information and I was affraid to index tag and categories pages. Now I've controled the both pages noindex 🙂

    And yes my answer is I want to rank high my post pages thats why I've disabled index tag and categories.

    Thanks Fayaz 🙂

  4. Very nice and well explained article I recently create the blog on technology, reviews, and guide and after one week I see on google that my categories and tags are indexed as well and they are at up postion while my real post url are down the list and was very worried but now I got everything and going to do this I hope it will work

    1. I'm sure you're doing something wrong wrong some where else! Since, internal linking doesn't affect search engine ranking. It only affects which page is shown in the search result.

      However, there is one possibility. You may have external back-links to your category or tag page. If that is the case, then don't put "noindex" to category or tag pages with back links. Anyways, my understanding
      is, people don't usually put back link to tag/category pages. So, in most cases this doesn't happen.

  5. today i received a google webmasters alert beacuse of low quality pages, the reason? I had installed a plugin that auto creates tags and to the worst it adds search terms for non existent keywords, my site ended up with 5000 pages full of nothing, and with a google penalty

  6. As my blog is doing hotel business,I would like google to index my category pages, such as Beijing Hotels category page as landing page,so I remove all the hotel posts on category pages, and rewrite the content. I think in this way it will not harm other posts' value. Am I correct?

  7. Excellent info thanks for sharing. I have just begun working on a large website for a friend and noticed hundreds of pages indexed for a measly 8 page site.
    I was unsure as to weather blocking tags and categories in WP would hurt the website.
    Now i know better

    Thanks Fayaz Ahmed


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