Google gives sites more indexing control with new Robots tag

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A new robots tag, called indexifembedded, allows websites to give Google more information about content to index in search results.

With this tag you can tell Google to only index the content of a page if it is integrated via iframes and similar HTML tags.

The indexifembedded tag replaces the noindex tag.

This means you can use noindex to exclude an entire URL from search results and apply the indexifembedded tag to make specific content indexable when embedded on another web page.

Google says it created this tag to address an issue affecting media publishers:

“…although they want their content to be indexed when embedded on third-party pages, they don’t necessarily want their media pages to be indexed on their own.”

When to use the Indexifembedded tag

This new robots tag does not apply to many publishers, as it is intended for content that has a separate URL for embedding purposes.

For example, a publisher of a podcast might have dedicated web pages for each podcast episode, each with their own URLs.

Then there would be URLs pointing directly to the media, which other sites can use to embed the podcast on one of their pages.

Such a URL can be used when inserting a podcast episode as a referral source, as I did recently in a Googlebot crawling post.

The podcast creator may not want media URLs to be indexed in search results. Previously, the only way to keep them out of Google search was to use a noindex tag.

However, the noindex tag prevents content from being embedded in other pages during indexing. So, if the publisher wanted to allow the embed, they had to index the media URL as well.

Now, with the indexifembedded tag, publishers have more control over what gets indexed.

The indexifembedded tag can be used with the noindex tag and will override it when the indexless URL is embedded into another page via an iframe or similar HTML tag.

Google provides the following example:

“For example, if podcast.host.example/playpage?podcast=12345 has both the noindex and indexifembedded tag, that means Google can embed content hosted on that page in recipe.site.example/my-recipes.html when indexing.”

How to use the Indexifembedded tag

There are two ways to use this new robots tag.

To allow your content to be indexed only when embedded on other pages, add the indexifembedded tag in combination with the noindex tag.

See an example of what the code would look like in the image below:

Screenshot from: developers.google.com/search/blog/, January 2022.

You can also specify the tag in the HTTP header.

Refer to the image below for an example of what this would look like.

google indexifembedded tagScreenshot from: developers.google.com/search/blog/, January 2022.

Currently, only Google supports the indexifembedded tag.

Source: Google Search Powerhouse Blog


Feature image: Igor Golovniov/Shutterstock

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