14 Nov 2012

HOW TO: Prevent Google from Ranking a Certain Web Page (Weekly Q&A)

There’s an interesting thread over SEOchat forum:

What if I don’t want Google to rank my web page for a certain keyword / key phrase?

These things usually become the reason of constant misunderstandings, so let’s sum up:

  • Robots.txt WON’T help you get your page unranked. It will stop Google from accessing and re-caching the page but it won’t stop Google from showing the page in search results. To form the search snippet, Google may use the previous info they obtained when they had access to the page or the outside information about that page (backlinks, wikipedia, etc)
  • Robots META tag “NOINDEX” WILL really de-rank the page BUT it will get unranked for *any* search term, not just the one you didn’t want it to appear.

If the latter option doesn’t work (it is still desirable that the page gets ranked for other terms), what you can do is to change the page to remove any mention of the word you don’t want it to rank for. Then, wait and wait again.


Further Reading:

check The Ultimate Guide to Blocking Content in Search via robots.txt
checkHow to Prevent Google from Crawling AND Indexing a Page?