Noindex Redux

A month ago, I wondered whether there was any way to make those useless WordPress overview pages (i.e., category, author and “page X” pages) go away from search index results.

To recap, whenever I’m looking for something, Google has a tendency to return a result pointing to “page 35” of somebody’s blog, but when I go to “page 35”, what I’m looking for isn’t there any more, because it’s now on “page 49”.

To illustrate, here’s a search for a term that appears only once on this blog:

Yes, Google returns the blog post (“Small Change”), but as the final result, after two overview pages where you probably won’t find “rs232” when you click on those links.

So I added “noindex” entries for the overview pages on March 5th. It’s now been more than a month, so what does things look like now?

It’s better! The blog post (“Small Change”) is now the first result, and there’s only one overview page included in the result. So perhaps in another month or so, Google will have re-fetched all the pages and removed that, too.

(Note that Google isn’t that good at counting. Ten, two… who cares!)

Now, if only WordPress were to make “noindex, follow” the default on all the overview pages, then the world would be a (very very slightly) better place.

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