On the 9th Of March there was an update from Google Webmaster tools which made an impact on how many pages of a site is indexed.  I noticed this just today when I did some analysis for this blog (i.e. click through rates vs.  Impressions compared to when I first started blogging and much more). I did a bit more nosing around and I noticed the following in the amount of pages indexed as can be seen in the screenshot below.

Google Webmaster tools 9th march update


Last year, I blogged about wanting to change my blog to a .org version as the tag pages were also being indexed and this was causing traffic to go to the tags and categories as opposed to the actual blog post.

One blog post I had written a while back about  Ego bait link building started ranking well on Google and then something annoying happened.  The actual blog post  started ranking on page 2 or 3  whilst the tagged page was ranking on the first page but I’d rather people got through to the blog post as opposed to the category or tag as you do when you write something compelling.

Later on the tagged category pages started ranking in the 3rd page on Google for the search term whilst the actual blog post was further in the search engine results pages.

As can be seen in the image below the tagged category pages were ranking well instead of the actual blog post.

tagged page result

With the update on the 9th of March showing fewer pages being indexed, one would think this would have been rectified but this was not the case.

So I decided to take action and noindex the category tagged pages from Google webmaster tools. For those of you that don’t know what this is, it is the process of asking Google to remove certain pages from showing in search results. As you’ll have noticed ‘https’ pages are usually the ones that are not supposed to show in the search results as they are secure pages such as login pages and check out pages for ecommerce sites.

The tagged page showing in the above screenshot happens to be a https page so I should have requested this for removal a very long time ago.

Anyway, once I had requested the tagged pages for removal I managed to wait for a whole week before continuing this blog post to check that the removal request worked out well.  I am delighted to say it has, I can now see the actual blog post ranking for ‘Ego bait link building’ ahead of the tagged pages. As I didn’t remove all the tagged pages for fear of removing the ones that ranked well, there is one more tagged category page started showing in the search results for that keyword.


removal request result


I’ll be carrying out some more experiments with this blog. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you’re having the same problem with your blog of tagged pages coming up in search results ahead of the actual blog posts you’ll now know what to do after reading this post.

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