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Are Wizzley Categories Nofollowed or Noindexed?

 
onetimeuser
Posts: 378
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on 10/16/2012

I noticed today that Google was showing results for category pages on Google with the description: "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt"

It looks as if Wizzley have blocked Google from crawling the category pages, but not noindexed them.

Usually one would do the opposite, surely? Allow Google to crawl category pages (from which it can find the pages indexed under) but noindex them, so exclude them from the search results? 

Then I realized that on Wizzley itself, there doesn't appear to be a way for readers to navigate posts by category (unless I'm showing ignorance here, I couldn't find a way).

Wouldn't one usually allow robots to crawl pages such as categories, and allow users to navigate via categories, but simply request that Google does not index those categories? 

When you noindex a category page it can still build PR and pass juice to the post contained under that category, it just doesn't compete with monetized pages, but Wizzley appears to have nofollowed them. 

Usually the only sites which typically benefit from indexing category pages are eCommerce sites.

Whatever the reasoning for nofollowing (would be interesting to hear), why have Wizzley chose to have them indexed? 

(This whole investigation was not me being nosey, it started with Jo Harrington's great idea about empty categories, I then realised that I couldn't actually find categories on this site).

I would have thought that allowing users to navigate categories and sub-categories would have been a logical navigation system?

lobobrandon
Posts: 534
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on 10/16/2012

You can browse by category ryan. Go to Pages: new, popular or buzzing and then there's a drop down - All Topics. Pick your category from there. Didn't read the rest of your post.


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onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/16/2012

 

lobobrandon: 10/16/2012 - 09:58 PM

You can browse by category ryan. Go to Pages: new, popular or buzzing and then there's a drop down - All Topics. Pick your category from there. Didn't read the rest of your post.

Ok thanks lobobrandon, but do you really read posts from the bottom to the top? Smile

lobobrandon
Posts: 534
Message
on 10/17/2012

Just went through it now Tongue Out no you mentioned about it in the 3rd or 4th line as well right. I was getting ready to go to university when I noticed this post. So gave a quick reply. I'm not sure about the no-index and stuff about Wizzley, will need someone from the tech dept. to answer that.


Check out my blog SEO for Dummies
Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
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on 10/17/2012

Hey ryank,

well observed :) We allow Google to crawl our latest articles list. So bots can see all articles on Wizzley. But we don't allow lists filtered by category. The blocking of category lists came with our "not too long ago update", and you're right, on these, the noindex is still missing. We'll add it right now.

I'm not sure about the Google PageRank flow: I'm under the impression, that Google strongly encourages webmasters to block all pages, that don't profit from being listed in their search index. Hence, Google saves crawling resources. If we don't block the sub category lists via robots.txt, Google's bot still needs to crawl them to find our noindex flag. So, no resources saved there.

Do you know any statement from Google that a different strategy is recommended?


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
katiem2
Posts: 1044
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on 10/17/2012

Ryan, I noticed the very thing while doing research. Made me scratch my head as well. Glad you brought it up. 


onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/17/2012

 

Simon: 10/17/2012 - 03:10 AM

Hey ryank,

well observed :) We allow Google to crawl our latest articles list. So bots can see all articles on Wizzley. But we don't allow lists filtered by category. The blocking of category lists came with our "not too long ago update", and you're right, on these, the noindex is still missing. We'll add it right now.

I'm not sure about the Google PageRank flow: I'm under the impression, that Google strongly encourages webmasters to block all pages, that don't profit from being listed in their search index. Hence, Google saves crawling resources. If we don't block the sub category lists via robots.txt, Google's bot still needs to crawl them to find our noindex flag. So, no resources saved there.

Do you know any statement from Google that a different strategy is recommended?

Simon, I'm out today but I'll have a look tomorrow Cool

I seem to remember a Cutt's video saying that they prefer you to nofollow category and tag pages, but that they can still be valuable to crawlers and pass juice, I'll find it for you tomorrow.

Nofollowed pages still dilute juice on a page anyway, if you have ten links on a page and eight are nofollowed, the juice is still diluted by a factor of 10 per link.

Watch this space...

Greekgeek
Posts: 6
Message
on 10/22/2012

I would like to know the reason why category pages are noindexed/nofollowed as well.

Matt Cutts talked about why it's bad to try to do Pagerank Sculpting years ago, and added:

Q: How do you use nofollow on your own internal links on your personal website?
A: I pretty much let PageRank flow freely throughout my site, and I’d recommend that you do the same. I don’t add nofollow on my category or my archive pages. The only place I deliberately add a nofollow is on the link to my feed, because it’s not super-helpful to have RSS/Atom feeds in web search results.

Note that Matt was saying that he thought nofollowing category pages was a bad idea; noindexing them altogether is far more drastic.

I'm also reminded of Google's definition of webspam: artificial practices meant to manipulate search engines. Matt Cutts' post above would make me very wary of mucking with searchbots' ability to crawl category pages.

For what it's worth, Squidoo is enjoying double the traffic of Hubpages. While studying the two sites' fortunes ever since Panda started, I concluded that one of the reasons was that Squidoo has an excellent categories hierarchy and let its tags pages be indexed, whereas Hubpages has far fewer internal links buttressing its topic relevance.

My understanding of SEO is by no means expert, but everything I've studied in the last five years makes me think that noindexing category pages is a mistake.

Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
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on 10/22/2012

Definitively a very interesting topic, and we're open to any solution.

Does anybody have an official statement by Google to this? A YouTube video form Webmaster Central or something from the Google Blog? That simply saves a lot of guessing :)


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Greekgeek
Posts: 6
Message
on 10/22/2012

Sorry, posting while you were writing!

The Matt Cutts blog post I linked to above about Pagerank Sculpting is not an official Google publication, however, he is the head of Google's Webspam Team and generally serves as Google's spokespundit concerning how their search algorithm works. 

I'll see if I can dig up some more official pronouncements on the topic of the noindex tag. Unfortunately I've been nattering about this when I have people coming over today, and I should probably get off the bally computer. 

Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
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on 10/22/2012

Oh thanks :) Matt Cutts is definitively official enough. I love his YouTube video posts Smile.

Currently, we have all sort of category lists set to "noindex,follow" - and they are accessed by Googlebot. I think that's the recommended way. On Squidoo I cannot find that sort of paginated lists. I can only see the top 100 lenses in each category, but not number 100+. So it's a different system all together.

In our robots.txt we don't allow access to our previous topic pages: Disallow: /topics/

These URLs don't exist any more. That's why they're blocked for bots.

So I think it's all fine as it is ... ?


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
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on 10/22/2012

Just noticed: Matt Cutts is writing about PageRank sculpting on certain links. Out of the comments section:

Matt Cutts: "I was only talking about the nofollow attribute on individual links, not noindex/nofollow as a meta tag."

So that's really a totally different thing! We don't do a lot of such PageRank sculpting, since it's more or less useless/has very low impact. That's why he isn't recommending it. He says, time can be spent better in improving the content itself.


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
QuantumLouie
Posts: 21
Message
on 10/26/2012

Interesting, from what I know categories can be no indexed to avoid duplicate content issues but nofollow stops link juice from flowing all over the site. In addition, Matt Cutts also stated that nofollow links drain link juice even if the bot doesn't follow them. So if there's leakage anyways why not at least let it flow to people's articles? 

onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/26/2012

 

QuantumLouie: 10/26/2012 - 03:02 PM

Interesting, from what I know categories can be no indexed to avoid duplicate content issues but nofollow stops link juice from flowing all over the site. In addition, Matt Cutts also stated that nofollow links drain link juice even if the bot doesn't follow them. So if there's leakage anyways why not at least let it flow to people's articles? 

This is the same as my understanding. 

Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
Message
on 10/26/2012

Yes, for the umpty-umpth time: they are follow and always have been.


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/26/2012

 

Simon: 10/26/2012 - 04:26 PM

Yes, for the umpty-umpth time: they are follow and always have been.

I think both me and QuantumLouie were both agreeing with you when you said this?....

"Currently, we have all sort of category lists set to "noindex,follow" - and they are accessed by Googlebot. I think that's the recommended way".

This thread started because the category pages were still indexed when they shouldn't have been, just looks like we are agreeing that the current 'noindex, follow' is the correct way forward as per advice from Matt Cutts?

 

chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 10/26/2012

Simon is just a little testy because Hans goes on vacation, and he can't.  Yell  Understandable.  Laughing


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/26/2012

 

chefkeem: 10/26/2012 - 07:43 PM

Simon is just a little testy because Hans goes on vacation, and he can't.  Yell  Understandable.  Laughing

LOL

I've been a bit tetchy all year..... I was supposed to go to Malta in March and my wife forgot her passport.

I will never forgive her!

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