Robots Meta Tag

The robots meta tag is a snippet of HTML code that tells web crawlers, also known as robots or spiders, how to process pages on a website. It provides instructions on whether to index a page and follow links on it or not, helping to guide the crawler in a way that aligns with the site owner’s SEO strategy.


Placed in the <head> section of an HTML document, the robots meta tag uses the `name` attribute with a value of “robots” and the `content` attribute to specify the directives. For example, “ directs search engines not to index the page but to follow the links on the page.


  • noindex‘: Prevents the page from being included in the search engine index.
  • nofollow: Instructs the crawler not to follow any links on the page.
  • index‘: Explicitly allows the page to be stored in the search engine index.
  • follow‘: The crawler will follow links on the page to discover other pages.
  • noarchive‘: Prevents a cached copy of the page from being available in search results.
  • nosnippet‘: Tells the search engine not to display a snippet (like a description) for the page in the search results.
  • noimageindex‘: Instructs crawlers not to index images on the page.

Best practices:

  • Consistently review and update the robots meta tags to reflect current content strategy.
  • Use `noindex` on duplicate, private, or non-essential pages to maintain a clean index and direct crawl budget effectively.
  • Be cautious with `nofollow` as it can restrict the flow of PageRank within your site.
  • Combine the robots meta tag with other methods, such as the canonical tag or the robots.txt file, for more comprehensive crawl management.


  • The robots meta tag only provides suggestions to crawlers; search engines typically respect them but are not obligated to do so.
  • Incorrect use of robots meta tags can lead to unintended deindexing or exposure of content.
  • Always check that important pages do not contain inadvertent `noindex` or `nofollow` directives.


What is the purpose of the robots meta tag?

The robots meta tag provides instructions to web crawlers on how to process and index pages on a website, helping site owners guide the crawlers behavior in line with their SEO strategy.

How do you use the robots meta tag on a webpage?

To use the robots meta tag, you include it in the head section of an HTML document with the name attribute set to robots and the content attribute specifying directives like noindex or nofollow.

What are some best practices for implementing robots meta tags?

Best practices for robots meta tags include regularly updating them based on content strategy, using noindex for duplicate or non-essential pages, and combining them with other techniques for comprehensive crawl management.

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