De-indexing refers to the process where a webpage or set of webpages are removed from a search engine’s index. This can result from manual actions, such as utilizing a robots.txt file to prevent crawlers from indexing specific content, or through the use of meta tags with attributes like “noindex” to advise search engines not to include those pages in their searchable index.

Search engines may also independently decide to de-index pages or an entire website if they are found to violate the search engine’s guidelines or policies. This can include infractions such as spammy content, malicious behavior, or the use of black hat SEO techniques that are intended to manipulate search rankings.

Impact on SEO:

De-indexing not only affects a website’s visibility and organic search traffic, but it also hinders a business’s ability to reach its target audience and drive conversions. Without the ability to appear in search results, potential customers may never discover a website, resulting in lost opportunities for engagement and revenue. Additionally, de-indexing can damage a website’s credibility and overall online reputation, making it more difficult for the site to attract and retain valuable customers. Overall, the impact of de-indexing can be far-reaching and detrimental to a business’s online success.

Best practices:

  1. Regularly review and update the robots.txt file to ensure that it correctly reflects the pages you want to be indexed or blocked.
  2. Use “noindex” tags judiciously, as overuse can lead to significant losses in search engine visibility.
  3. Monitor search engine guidelines to make sure your website remains compliant and avoids penalties that could result in de-indexing.
  4. Use Google Search Console or similar webmaster tools to check the index status of your webpages and address any warnings or issues promptly.
  5. If de-indexing occurs accidentally, correct the underlying issue and submit a reindex request to search engines once the changes are made.


How does de-indexing impact a website's SEO efforts?

De-indexing can significantly reduce a website's visibility in search results, resulting in lost organic search traffic, decreased opportunities for engagement and conversions, and damage to the website's credibility and online reputation.

What are some best practices to prevent de-indexing and maintain a website's search engine visibility?

Best practices include regularly reviewing and updating the robots.txt file, using "noindex" tags judiciously, monitoring search engine guidelines for compliance, checking index status with webmaster tools, and submitting reindex requests if de-indexing occurs accidentally.

What are some common reasons why a webpage might be de-indexed by a search engine?

Common reasons for de-indexing include violating search engine guidelines, offering spammy content, engaging in malicious behavior, or using black hat SEO techniques.

Free SEO analysis

Get a free SEO analysis

Free SEO analysis
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Which type of analysis do you wish?
*By agreeing to our private policy you also consent to receiving newsletters and marketing. You can opt out of this anytime by clicking the 'unsubscribe' button in any marketing received by us.
I accept the privacy policy