SEO Guide: Indexing Importance & When to Avoid It

Dive into the nuances of website indexing for SEO. Discover which 11 pages should be showcased in SERPs and which ones to shield for optimal site ranking. Your roadmap to strategic indexing awaits courtesy of Silent Freeway!


Silent Freeway

8/24/20232 min read

Google android bot with hands in the air and the number 11 glowing in the background
Google android bot with hands in the air and the number 11 glowing in the background

The journey of search engine optimization (SEO) begins with indexing your website pages. By allowing search engine bots to access your content, you're signaling that your pages are visitor-ready, free from technical glitches, and primed for visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). At a glance, comprehensive indexing seems like a win-win.

However, not all pages should grace the SERPs. Some should remain hidden to maintain your site's ranking integrity. In this guide, we'll delve into which content types should remain elusive to search engines and the steps to ensure they do.

11 Pages Best Left Unseen by Search Engines

Diving right in, here are the pages you might consider keeping out of search engine sight:

1. Private Data Pages: Safeguard pages containing sensitive information like company secrets, upcoming product details, user profiles, private messages, and payment information. Such content is meant for specific eyes only, not the vast expanse of the internet.

2. Login Gateways: If your login portal isn't on the main page but a standalone one, it needn't appear in SERPs. These pages, often devoid of rich content, might be flagged as 'thin content'.

3. Acknowledgment Pages: These are the screens users encounter post a successful website interaction, be it a purchase or sign-up. Typically, they lack substantial content and don't offer added value to searchers.

4. Print or Reader-Friendly Versions: Such pages mirror your website's primary content. If indexed, they could be flagged for content duplication.

5. Nearly Identical Product Pages: Large e-commerce platforms sometimes host products with minute variations. Search engines might struggle to differentiate them, potentially marking them as duplicate content.

6. On-site Search Results: Users arriving from SERPs anticipate direct answers. Another set of search results might deter them, leading to brief visits and swift exits.

7. Solo Author Bio Pages: For blogs with a single contributor, the author's bio page essentially mirrors the blog's main page.

8. Sign-up Forms: Similar to login pages, these typically showcase just the subscription form, offering minimal value to users and SERPs alike.

9. Work-in-Progress Pages: Always shield pages under construction from search engines until they're polished and visitor-ready.

10. Mirror Sites: These are carbon copies of your pages hosted elsewhere. If indexed, they're prime candidates for the 'duplicate content' label.

11. Time-bound Offers & Ad Landing Pages: Pages showcasing limited-time offers or ads should only be visible during their relevance period. Once their time lapses, they should fade from both user and search engine view.

Remember, while indexing is crucial for SEO, strategic non-indexing can be equally vital. Ensure you're making informed decisions about which pages to showcase and which to shield.

Kickstarting SEO: Why Indexing Matters and When to Avoid It