I know a lot of you are wondering what's the difference between the nofollow and noindex in the robots. txt file and the ones declared on the meta tags. Some search engine optimization specialists claims that there's no difference while others believe that one method is less valuable than the other.
You can ask it out on several webmaster/SEO forums, but you'll just get mixed responses. In here, I will give you the REAL answer! According to Eric Enge's interview with Google's software engineer Matt Cutts way back in 2007, there are differences in using NoIndex, NoFollow, and Robots. txt.
In The Robots. txt File
Even if you restrict Google's spider from indexing certain pages of your website, they can still accumulate page rank. For example, if you disallow the crawling of your About Us page yet your homepage links to it, PR juice is still passed on.
In addition, websites that disallow crawling can still accumulate page rank and be visible in search results. Why? If another website links to it, PR juice will be passed on. Google can sometimes use the information of a website submitted to ODP (also known as DMOZ) in order to display it on their results page, or when another website links to it.
In The Meta Tag
Let's understand what Nofollow and Noindex really means.
The Nofollow is usually used on outgoing links, when declared in the meta tag, it means do not follow all links on this page. With this, you are also telling the spider not to pass PR juice. However, the nofollow on the meta tag also applies to your links that points to the other pages of your website. This also means that you are depriving the flow of PR juice to some of your pages.
On the other hand, the Noindex means, do not index this page. Pages with noindex can still accumulate page rank if a there's a dofollow link pointing to that page.
- Dofollow is the opposite of Nofollow - a link with no nofollow attribute assigned means it's a dofollow link. A term used by webmasters and SEO experts.
To sum it all up:
* NoFollow means you're telling the search spider not to follow a link and also not to pass PR juice to that link.
* NoIndex means you're telling the search spider not to index your website and not to show it on SERP.
* The site or page in a Nofollow link can still gain PR if another site links to it without the nofollow attribute.
* Pages with the Noindex tag can still gain PR if another site links to it without a nofollow attribute.
* Pages with the Noindex tag can still be visible on SEPR using the information from ODP (DMOZ) or when another website links to it using
* Nofollow on the meta tag applies to all the links on a webpage
* Nofollow attribute on a link applies only to that link
So whether you use the Robots. txt or the Meta Tag, the results are still the same. The reason why Robots. txt is mostly used is because it is the fundamental method of putting up an electronic no trespassing sign that people have used since 1996, and it's much easier to declare which pages of your website not to crawl instead of placing the NoIndex code manually on individual pages’ meta tags.
Commonly, SEO services do provide complete analysis of a website as well as recommendations. So whenever you are looking for a good search engine optimization service, never forget to ask for a website analysis first, don't just jump in and hire somebody you do not know.
The author of this article writes for Offshoring Inc. , the Philippines staff leasing company that let's you lease affordable web professionals. You can check out Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips and tutorials for more on proper web optimization.