In this post we’ll learn about some additional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) settings for our Thesis 2 site. In our main Thesis 2 SEO article we talked about post titles, URLs, title tags, and meta descriptions. In this post, we’ll talk about the “noindex” setting and titles and meta descriptions for WordPress tags and categories.
Just like we wrote a custom title tag and meta description for our posts, we will also write them for our tags and categories. We’ll go one step further and set the noindex setting for additional search engine optimization.
For the tags and categories title and meta description we want to describe what a particular tag or category is about. This is not granular like a single post but a description of the entire tag or category. Let’s get started. From the WordPress Dashboard, click Posts, then click Categories. Move your cursor over one of your categories and click the “Edit” link that appears below the category title.
You will be taken to the WordPress Edit Category page. Scroll down until you see the category title and meta description lines. Write a title and description that is appropriate to your category.
Next we’ll set the noindex attribute. Search engines may penalize websites that post duplicate content. Content in WordPress may appear to be duplicated because there are so many ways to find a single post. Think for a moment how easy WordPress makes finding content. Not only does our home page have links to individual posts, but when we write a post we also add categories and tags. While categories and tags allows us to make content easy to find, it also creates multiple ways to find the same content. The search engines find all these routes and it may appear to them that you have duplicate content. We want the search engines to only index the main post page and not the roads leading to that page. We do this with a sitemap. The sitemap has only the single post page URL and omits the category and tag URLs. To help the search engines we are able to “turn off” these other routes using the “noindex” setting. This setting tells the search engines to not index the page and prevents them from believing they have found duplicate content.
On the Edit Category page, scroll further down and look for the Meta Robots section. Check the checkbox for noindex, nofollow, and noarchive. At the bottom of the page click “Update” to save your changes. Repeat this process for each of your categories.
Next we’ll do the exact same process for WordPress tags. From the WordPress Dashboard click on Posts then click Tags. The Tags page looks just like the Categories page. Repeat the same process for tags that we followed for categories as outlined above.
We have now completed another important step in our Thesis 2 SEO process for WordPress.