One SEO professional was concerned about pages that are noindexed, and whether or not they are considered when Google evaluates the quality of a website.
Firstly, John expressed that if someone is concerned about the quality of certain pages on the site, then this is something that is worth exploring to fix and repair, especially if you have so many low-quality pages.
If you have such bad pages, users may stumble across them and it becomes a recipe that leads people to just not come back to the site.
Alternatively, John mentioned that some people consider certain pages low-quality because they lack interesting content, such as category pages, but that’s not the case and is really more of a technical reason. There are also other factors that could influence the quality of pages.
Regarding core updates and noindexed pages, John said that Google doesn’t take these pages into account when it comes to evaluating a page’s quality.
The fact that Google focuses only on indexed pages forms the basis of all of Google’s quality updates and how they evaluate pages from a qualitative perspective.
This happens at approximately the 4:38 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Let’s see. Next question. Can noindex pages affect Google’s evaluation of a quality website at a site level, that is as it’s used in core updates? 99% of the pages of this website are relatively lower quality and not indexed, so 300,000 noindex and 3000 indexed pages.
So, I think first of all, the amount of low quality pages that you’re kind of like saying yourself are low quality pages that feels kind of tricky or problematic to me, just independently of anything with regard to Google core updates. If you find that you have so many pages on your website that are really low quality in the sense that they’re, they’re not good pages, they don’t have any useful content on them, then it feels like an opportunity for something to clean up there. Because even if we don’t index these pages, users might go to those pages. And if that’s what they build the perception of your site on and you know that these are bad pages, then that feels like a recipe for people just not coming back.
So kind of, outside of anything specific to SEO, that feels like something that would be worth cleaning up. Sometimes, people see things as being lower quality, just because of technical reasons. For example, if you have category pages, and you can filter them and sort them in different ways, you might say, well, this is lower quality, because it’s not actual content. From my point of view, that’s more a matter of just technically, like not interesting content, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually a bad page. So that might be kind of a misunderstanding there.
But like going back to the question itself, with regards to the core updates, and kind of Google’s understanding of the quality of a website, overall, we don’t take these pages into account. So we really focus on the content that we have indexed for a website. And that’s kind of the basis that we have with regards to all of our quality updates and all of our quality algorithms and understanding of the website itself. On the one hand, because that’s what we’re showing in search. So if there’s something on your website that we’re not showing in search, and we’re not using it to promise anything to users who are searching, then from our point of view, that’s kind of up to you what you do with that.
The other point, I think, is a little bit more practical in the sense that if we don’t have these pages indexed, and we don’t have any data for these pages, then we can’t aggregate any of that data for systems across your website. So from that point of view, if these pages are noindexed, we don’t take them into account.