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How to Use Google Robots - Stop Pages from Being Indexed

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/22/2010

Trying to figure out how to stop certain pages from being indexed in Google. This can be adjusted using Google Robots and Google's Webmaster Tools service. You can also paste some specific code into your website or blog, which will do the same thing. Learn how to use Google Robots the easy way.

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    Using Google Webmaster Tools to Modify Google Robots Settings

    If you would like to prevent your website or blog from being indexed in Google, you can simply copy and paste a code from Google Webmaster Tools. From there, you can login to Google Webmaster Tools and adjust specific site settings. Using Webmaster Tools is one of the easiest ways to learn how to use Google Robots, because you don't have to adjust meta settings. We have a couple of tutorials that you may want to checkout, in order to get accustomed to using Google Webmaster Tools:

    How to Remove Your Website or Blog From Google Indexing

    What is Google Webmaster Tools and How Can It Help You

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    Manually Adjusting Google Robots

    Google Webmaster Tools If you want to learn how to use Google Robots entirely, it's a good idea to learn how to stop Google robots from indexing pages using nofollow and follow rules. This has a bit more flexibility than using Google Webmaster Tools, as you can set PHP if settings, and other advanced situation specific rules for indexing your website's pages. Basically, this all amounts to you being able to control which specific pages on your website get indexed in Google. Using Google Robots rules is easy, and it simply requires that you copy and paste some code into the head section '<head></head>' of your website or blog. Here is the basic code:

    <meta name="robots" content="nofollow" />

    Notice that this is just a simple meta setting. Robots, refers to Google Bot, and the value "nofollow" refers to preventing Google Bot. You can use this code on individual specific pages that you do not want listed in Google. Alternatively, the following code will allow Google Bot:

    <meta name="robots" content="follow" />

    You can learn more about how Google handles these values by visiting the Webmaster Tools Forum.

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    Specific Situations for Nofollow

    That's basically all there is to learning how to use Google Robots. Now, you should be able to prevent your entire site from being indexed in Google, or specify certain pages or blog posts that you don't want listed in Google. Google recommends that you use the nofollow rule for several different situations. They have a reference for this on the Webmaster Tools Help page.

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    Additional References

    As far as SEO (search engine optimization), you may want to consult this article to learn more about how Google treats PageRanks and other indexing priorities.

    Alternatively, you can use Google's Traffic Estimator to get an estimate on which keywords to use for your pages. This will help to increase traffic to your website and get more visitors.

    This article covers the mere basics of using Google Robots. There are several other things that you may want to take into consideration before deciding to unindex specific pages. Be sure to consult the references in this article, in order to learn more about Google Robots, SEO, and Google in general.