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. Tag is really helpful for better SEO.You can get traffic from your tag as it contains different keyword.Therefore indexing tag is always a good idea to boost your post.thank you for great article.

  2. Nice article, thanks. Your no-index procedure makes sense and you mentioned
    doing a manual test which worked - instantly? Query -
    Why wouldn't it be possible, or possibly better, to put a canonical link on the
    Tag or archive page - TO - the page you want to rank, rather
    than to no-index it ? Have google then crawl the Tag / or Category page
    you just added the Canonical link to.

    I am thinking of 2 possible advantages:
    1) Once Google decides to take action on your canonical link, it should
    be a more concrete way to insure Google will, at the time it decides to,
    put your desired page where the Tag page was, and knock down the Tag page.
    Even if you have not "no-index"ed your Tag or Category page, I thought the
    Canonical link has a similar effect.

    2) You won't have to wonder or hope that Google will move up your desired page
    once you no-index your Tag or Category page.

    Would be interested in your thoughts on that. If not, I will review your article


  3. Hello,

    Same issue was with me. Finally found this page after asking this question in I've installed Yoast SEO.

    Now I've noindexed all Category etc page. But my home page is still indexed in the posts sitemap (As I can see while opening sitemap URLs). Now homepage also contains only excerpts. And Yoast SEO is not giving me any option to remove home page i.e. because it doesn't have a post ID. Will this interfere is search result? If so how to solve it.

    Any help is highly appreciated.


    1. Hi,

      You're fortunate. I was there in stack exchange site today & I myself answered your question.
      I'll have to check if home page can be no-indexed from Yoast SEO. However, that may not be necessary. That was just a quick fix suggestion.

      However, my suggestion is, wait for a while (a week or so). These things take time to change. In the mean time, do the following:

      1. Go through all the recommendations by Yoast SEO. Visit their site as well, there are lots of recommendations there.

      2. Give your home page a lower priority in sitemap. Since there is no unique content there, no need to place higher priority.

      If after a week or so this gets fixed by Google, then fine. Otherwise no-indexing is also possible from robots.txt. However, I don't want you to tinker with robots.txt just yet. If you are not careful, that can do more damage.

      Patience my friend, SEO requires patience. All the best.

  4. This is a good subject. but, how about big websites that use thousands of tags and categories like or They are always safe from the wrath of google.

    and one more.

    then talk about different conditions, tags and categories that do not contain excerpt. only the title and the picture, like the Is there an explanation?

  5. Hey first of all a huge thanks for explaining the matter with us and it helped me lot to understand the subject very well. Will be looking forward to see more from you in the future.

  6. You have written that "the sites 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 engines will give the category page higher priority!"

    By this do you mean the link all the three blog posts will link to category page - "especially via the menu link in each page" ....Or else which link are you referring to in the blog posts which link to category page...Is this the link which is encapsulated in the Menu, Since Menu will have links to category and will be displayed in all the blog posts.....I understand that if that is the case then 'category page' will get higher priority.
    But Menu links generally has low link equity.

    1. Gaurab, normally all posts show which category they are under. For example, at the top of this post (under my name) you will see that this post belongs to the SEO category, so links come from there.

      Also, Google understands structure, so even structurally category pages get higher value on generic terms. Think about the relation between a bank and its customers. Generally speaking, the bank doesn't have any money of its own, still the bank is richer than each of its customers individually, because everyone is keeping their money in the bank. Category / Tag pages are the same, all the posts excerpts are there - so the for the generic terms, the category gets higher priority.

      That's why you should have unique content on category / tag pages before you decide to index them, not just typical post excerpts.

  7. i checked sitemap of your have indexed category and tags whereas you are suggesting otherwise..any specific reason

    1. The main reason is: I'm working on my blog structure at the moment.

      I also made a lot of changes. Now my tag & category pages don't conflict or overtake ranking of the original posts. There is more I'm doing here & once I'm done, I'll give an updated post about it. So stay tuned! 🙂

    1. I think you should keep indexing the author page, especially if it contains the author details. On the other hand, if it just contains short description of all the posts from this author, then noindex is fine. Same applies to category, tag pages etc. No additional details means noindex is better in most cases.

  8. Yes you are right, not a good index of categories and tags.

    If you have a post that many in a day and already indexed by Google, maybe tomorrow the pages you have indexed on the second page (/ category/page/2) visitors from the search engines will be disappointed because they are looking for does not exist in that category when in fact is on the second page, and maybe they will quickly leave our website.

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