A Complete Guide About Robots Meta Tag Values

An SEO expert is the person who understands the value of Meta tags intensely. So, in this post we will discuss about robots Meta tags to appreciate the uses of them.

First Start with what are meta tags? Meta tags are the short HTML codes which are used by the webmasters in the header of a website. Since, the meta tags never appear on the front of a webpage, so we can say that these tags are not for website visitors. We use these codes for search engine crawler. The most famous and valuable meta tag is ‘Description’, in this we write a short description about the webpage.

<meta name=”robots” content=” <value> “>

Generally, we use two attributes in Meta tags. First one is name, in this we write the name of robot(search engine crawler). If you want to target all crawlers then mention “robots” or if you want to target a specific crawler then write the “name_of_crawler” in this attribute.

(See Also: What is Keyword Density, Keyword Proximity and Keyword Prominence?)

You can block just one robot by specifying it specifically:

GOOGLEBOT for Google
SLURP for Yahoo!
MSNBOT for MSN / Live
TEOMA for Ask

The second attribute is content, which is the most significant and of different types according to your needs.

Type of <value> in content Attribute of Meta Tags

An explanation of all the different values you can use in the robots Meta tags:

  • index:

It allows all the search engines to crawl the page. There is no need to use this on page, it’s by default.

  • follow:

It allow all the search engines to crawl all links on that page.

  • noindex:

It prevents that page from search engine crawlers and showing it in search results.

  • nofollow:

It tells search engine crawlers, not to follow any link on a specific page.

  • none or nofollow,noindex:

It is the combination of noindex and nofollow. You can use it as :
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>
OR
<meta name=”robots” content=”none”>

In short, it use to say search engines not to do anything with this page.

Also See : How Can I Prevent My Website from Robot Scanning and Indexing?

  • noimageindex:

It disallows search engines to prevent the crawling of images on that page. However, Google can index those images if they are linked from somewhere else. So, use of X-Robots-Tag HTTP header is better idea than this.

  • noarchive:

Put off the search engines from showing the cached copy of that page.

  • nocache:

It is similar as noarchive but it only works for msn/live only.

  • nosnippet:

Prohibit search engines from caching the page and also disallow them from showing the rich snippet of that page in result page.

  • noodp:

Some time we see that the Google is showing DMOZ listing description in Search Engine Result Page. We use “noodp” meta value to disallow search engines from showing the DMOZ description of this page in search results, as snippet.

  • noydir:

It is use to disallow Yahoo from showing the yahoo directory description of this page in search results, as snippet.

(Also See: Google’s New Robots.txt Tester Tool for Webmasters)

Which Search Engine Supports Which Robots Meta Tag Values?

Robots Value Google Yahoo! MSN / Live Ask
index Yes Yes Yes Yes
noindex Yes Yes Yes Yes
none Yes Doubt Doubt Yes
follow Yes Doubt Doubt Yes
nofollow Yes Yes Yes Yes
noarchive Yes Yes Yes Yes
nosnippet Yes No No No
noodp Yes Yes Yes No
noydir No use Yes No use No use

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Dheeraj Saraswat

Online Marketing Consultant
Dheeraj Saraswat is the Chief Editor of Digital Talks and author of this post. He is a tech savvy writer and IT researcher. He has 5+ yrs. of experience in Digital Marketing. His expertise in online marketing field, inspires him to write about latest news and updates. You can follow him on Google+ for latest updates.