When would someone use “noindex, follow” in a robots meta tag?

When would someone use “noindex, follow” in a robots meta tag? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from Andy in New York. Andy asks, Can you give us an example of a situation where you would recommend using a NOINDEX, FOLLOW robots META tag? OK, so it’s a little bit arbitrary. But imagine if you have a site map, an HTML site map, and for whatever reason you don’t want Google to actually return the site map itself. So maybe you have a couple hundred links on that page and you’re worried oh, Google might think that that looks a little spammy, so I’m not going to worry about that. But you want users to see it just fine. In theory, you could have a noindex meta tag, so that wouldn’t be returned within the search results. But then have follow, which allows us to follow those outgoing links. So if you’re doing a site map, which doesn’t look all that pretty or that you don’t want to be returned in the search results, you can use the no index. But then if you still want those links to be followed, that’s an example where you could use the noindex comma follow or noindex space follow to make sure that Google is still willing to process and index those links and follow them. So it’s not a very common case, but there are some situations in which we see people do that.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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