You’ve probably heard that Google has to crawl your website before you show up in search engines, but there’s a strategy to which pages you allow Google to crawl and which you don’t.
First, you want Google to see the value in your website. You want to show off your BEST content and make sure Google knows exactly what content to show in search.
The flip side of this is telling Google what NOT to show in search. You may think this is counter intuitive, but by hiding some less content-rich pages, you are increasing the overall value of the content on your website.
In Squarespace, you can go into the SEO settings for each individual page and change the SEO page title, meta description, and there you’ll find a toggle to turn on and off search indexing.
“Not Linked” pages in Squarespace are not the same as “no-indexing” pages. These pages are less likely to be crawled, but will still eventually be found by Google.
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Here are a few examples of pages you may not want to index on your website:
- Private client-only pages: If you have any pages that you’ve created for your clients that aren’t designed to be shown to the public, make it so Google can’t find them. Otherwise, you may get some unwanted eyes finding your pages through random search results.
- Blog archive pages for tags: If you have a ton of tags on your website, this creates a ton of low quality archive pages that you’re better off having Google ignore
- Pages with little or no actual content or keywords: If you have pages that aren’t providing a lot of helpful content or value for your site visitors, hide them from Google so they don’t bring down the overall value of your website.
- Thank you pages -These are the pages you redirect people to after they fill out a form or sign up for your email newsletter. No reason for people to find these in search! Hide ‘em.
- Pages with duplicate content: This is a big one! If you have the same content copied and pasted on multiple pages, or even pages that cover the exact same topic, choose one that you want Google to crawl and hide the others!
Now that you know which pages you should be hiding, head over to your website and no-index these pages now. Keep an eye on your search traffic in Google Webmaster tools. You may see a small dip in rankings followed by overall improvement once you clean out your searchable content.