WordPress “Categories- Index Or Noindex?”

How to decide if you should or should not use index or noindex for your wordpress blog’s category page.

This seems to be a lot of confusion, and i was too, especially when you have to configure this settings with All in SEO pack plugin. But i have learnt each day and i compare my blog with higher rank or popular blog, how they index or they don’t index their categories.

So today i am going to share it with you, and i hope you really can understand when do you need to let search engines indexing your categories, and when you do need to use “noindex” option of All in One Seo Pack Plugin. If you want to save your time for it, you can get best SEO wordpress theme, Thesis, or Genesis, because they are already optimized, means you do not have to worry about “should i put index or no index for wordpress category”.

So first step is you have to check one of your post’s content. In this tutorial, i am using one of my post of this blog.

The post is Got problems after upgrading to wordpress 3.0. I check the content, and take a look in which category this post belong to.

Content of the post URL.

In this case, this post is under “wordpress tutorial” so i go click on that category and search for the same title. Check the content. (see image)

Content of the post in "Category" page.

With those two images above, one is the post URL, and the other one is in Category URL. Notice, the contents are different. If you have the same condition, then i strongly recommend to let your categories are indexing or use index.

But if you check between those two URL and they have same contents, then let your categories using noindex.

How can I have excerpt on my category page?

1. Check your theme, especially in archive.php file, look at the loop, and check if it’s containing this code: <?php the_excerpt();?>

2. Writing “excerpt” under post box is good habbit, although i know most of us often do not care about it.

In the video, i have looked how pearsonified.com, or problogger.net, to see if they also index their categories. And they do. Based on this fact, i also let my wordpress categories using index instead of noindex. If you have any questions or opinion, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.

Video Tutorial:

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  1. says

    Thesis theme has builit-in features about indexing and no indexing Categories and Tags. It is better to non index these if your blog url is custom.

    • says

      @Tech Maish, I am sure Thesis has those features, yes, if you are not sure what to do with categories, better to noindex them, however, if your categories have the excerpt (summary) always a benefit to index them.

      Thanks for your nice comment.

  2. says

    I use thesis theme and i noticed that the categories are the ones being indexed and not the posts, by the way, i enabled excerpts on the categories.

    Am I doing something wrong here?

    Please help. Thanks.

    • says

      Hey igoydude,

      I have checked your site, and looks like whenever you create a post, you don’t type in something in your excerpt box under post box?

      Also, your site is pretty new, try to be more patient about indexing, it needs time.

      Keep on building backlinks, and you will be fine.

      I hope this helps. feel free to ask if you have any questions, i will try to help.

  3. says

    simple question- and same must have been answered in the post itself considering the title and the search term that led me here!
    Is indexing categories good or bad for SEO?

    • says

      Hi Rohan,

      Depends on your theme, if in the category page you have same content than in the other pages, then it is bad.

      But if not, then its good. Thesis is already optimised, indexing categories are fine.


  4. says

    Thankyou for taking the time to comment, i actually went ahed and checked out trustworthy sources and SEO forums and they have explicitly mentioned to allow the following setting for categories and tags {follow / noindex} . I was looking for that!
    I appreciate you are trying to sell affiliate themes here but atleast make the article relevant to the title, people are looking for what setting is best for SEO and ur title mentions the same, and you end up mentioning how good wordpress and thesis is!
    I know thesis is optimized! i myself use thesis! that does not mean we dont have to configure the settings in thesis, there is still a toggle that allows users to specify the settings they want!
    NO point in indexing categories since it does not have much extra text other than the permalinks already indexed with the excerpts you speak of.
    Please dont mislead people .

    • says


      This post i have made when my theme was not even Thesis, and if you ask people, people will give you different answers or seo tips, since they think differently.

      I am giving any wordpress and seo tips in this blog based on my own experience, not only the theme i personally use, but things i have tried.


    • says

      Hi Gowtham,

      If you use sitemap xml generator, you can “exclude” the categories that you don’t want Google to index.

      I hope this helps.

      • says

        I have already tried it. Sitemap do tell search engines what to crawl and how often. But Google doesn’t take it as a rule. Google still crawls the pages. I think adding ‘Disallow’ in robots.txt would do it.

        • says

          Hi Gowtham,

          Yes, there are many ways you can prevent indexing on categories, if you use Thesis there are options too, or with robots.txt and sitemap settings.


  5. javid says

    I want to know when category pages and tags created duplicates and you say they should not be indexed why then all the big news sites and popular blogs index all of their tags?
    I can name http://technorati.com/blogs/top100 as an example, why their ranking in Google is good, is it useful for them too?
    Yours Sincerely