Google nerd-fighting over NOINDEX tag

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Matt Cutts says an internal discussion over how to treat the NOINDEX tag has the company debating the best way to handle pages using it.

Webmasters who want to control their content and its entry into search indexes sometimes turn to the NOINDEX meta tag to help. Here’s the problem: it isn’t being handled consistently at the major search engines, according to Cutts. Even Google isn’t sure what to do with pages tagged as NOINDEX.

“The question is whether Google should completely drop a NOINDEX’ed page from our search results vs. show a reference to the page, or something in between?” Cutts said in his post. Options fall into one of three possibilities: drop a NOINDEX page from the index, show links/references to those pages, or find some other middle ground.

Naturally the topic has generated some webmaster debate. One commenter at Cutts’ post said it’s “disrespectful” to index something marked as NOINDEX. Most of the follow-up comments expressed similar sentiments.

You can express yours in the comment section below, too.

Google nerd-fighting over NOINDEX tag
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