You sure can.
Meta directives, or meta tags, are instructions you can give to Google to provide direction for how you’d like your site indexed. For example, you can tell Google things like ‘don’t index this page’ or ‘don’t pass link equity from this page to another’. Passing on these instructions can be a little technical, and you’ll need to add Robots Meta Tags in the of your HTML pages or via the X-Robots-Tag in the HTTP header.
Finding an SEO consultant can help you avoid the headache of technical SEO, but here’s a little more info on telling Google what to do (or what not to do) with your website.
Understanding Robots Meta Tags
Robots meta tags are pieces of code used within the of your HTML on your webpage. They give instructions for crawlers on how to crawl or index your pages. This gives you the power to exclude specific pages, specific search engines, or ALL search engines.
Scroll down for an overview of the most common robots meta tag values:
index: Tells Google to add your page to their index (using this meta tag is not necessary as Google assumes all pages can be indexed by default)
noindex: Disallows Google from adding your page to their index
follow: Tells Google it may follow links on the page to discover other pages and pass link equity to those pages (all pages are assumed to have the ‘follow’ meta tag by default)
nofollow: Tells Google NOT to follow links or pass link equity through to other pages
noarchive: Tells Google not to show a cached copy of your page in the SERPs (this is useful if you run an eCommerce site with changing prices to avoid outdated pricing appearing on Google).
These robot meta tags can be used on their own or together to direct Google and help you control how your pages are seen, indexed, or ignored.
The x-robots-tag is used in the HTTP header of your URL. This gives you a little more flexibility and functionality than Robots Meta Tags if you want to block search engines on a wider scale. Using an x-robots-tag you can use regular expressions, block non-HTML files and apply noindex tags across your entire site.
If you’re like most Kiwi business owners you’re here to learn how to grow your rankings and traffic (and in turn revenue), so we won’t drag you too deep down the technical SEO rabbit hole. If you’d like to learn more about Robots Meta Tags or X-Robots-Tags, we’ll leave Google’s official guidelines here for you.
The takeaway for your business is you can direct the way Google crawls and indexes your site to put your most important pages in front of the right people. OK, enough with the overly technical SEO, let’s talk about how Google ranks websites (and how you can move towards the #1 spot).