Metadata Elements - Robots META Tag

The Robots META Tag is meant to provide users who cannot upload or control the /robots.txt file at their websites, with a last chance to keep their content out of search engine indexes and services.

<meta name="robots" content="robots-terms">

Examples of the Robots META Tag

The content="robots-terms" is a comma separated list used in the Robots META Tag that may contain one or more of the following keywords without regard to case: noindex, nofollow, all, index and follow.

Page may not be indexed by a search service.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

Robots are not to follow links from this page.

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

Admin Note: The robots directives of index, follow or all are not required as it is the default behavior of indexing spiders.

<meta name="robots" content="index, follow">
<meta name="robots" content="all">

Robots are welcome to include this page in search services.

<meta name="robots" content="index">

Robots are welcome to follow links from this page to find other pages.

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

If this meta tag is missing, or if there is no content, or the robot terms are not specified, then the robot terms will be assumed to be "index, follow" (e.g. "all"). If the keyword all is found in the robots terms list it overrides all other values. That is, a robots terms that is "nofollow, all, noindex, nofollow", would effectively be "all".

If the robots terms contains contradictory information (e.g. "follow, nofollow, follow") then the robot is free to do whatever it wishes with regard to the behavior being addressed (in this case the follow behavior).

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Common Usage for the Robots META Tag

The Robots META Tag is used for excluding content. We've included three (03) examples below of using the robots meta tag correctly to exclude information from search engine indexes and services.

  1. A robots term of noindex allows the links on that page to be followed, even though the page is not to be indexed.

    <meta name="robots" content="noindex">

  2. A robots term of nofollow allows the page to be indexed, but no links from the page are followed.

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

  3. A robots terms of noindex, nofollow neither the page or the links on that page will be followed or indexed.

    <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">

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Robots META Tag Quick Reference

Terms Googlebot Slurp MSNBot Teoma
NoIndex Yes Yes Yes Yes
NoFollow Yes Yes Yes Yes
NoArchive Yes Yes Yes Yes
NoSnippet Yes No No No
NoODP Yes Yes Yes No
NoYDIR No Yes No No
NoImageIndex Yes No No No
NoTranslate Yes No No No
Unavailable_After Yes No No No

More Information about the Robots META Tag


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