Noindexed pages are a crucial part of your website strategy as a recent study reveals that noindexed pages that are optimized incorrectly can impact your search rankings. John Mueller in the latest Google Search Central live stream, confirms this query by stating that noindexed pages can still be utilized to determine a website’s Core Web Vitals even if they are not included in the SERP. Core Web Vitals provides an overall snapshot view of your website’s user experience by going through particular factors that contribute to the page performance.
Mueller states that even if the noindexed pages are not shown in the search results, users can still access these pages in several ways- so in a way, they are still a part of the user experience. Therefore, it’s important for them to be included in the overall evaluation.
Optimize Noindexed Pages
By making use of the folders, Google may understand which webpages should be considered as a group. When ascertaining Core Web Vitals, Google takes a set of pages and analyzes the observed data to get to a conclusion that’s representative of the entire website. This is the similar data that you can find in Search Console, and it will also be used next year when the Web Vitals ranking factor rolls out. One of the questions asked to Mueller was about- How does Google select which webpages it uses to calculate Core Web Vitals? to which Mueller replied that in the Chrome User Experience report data in the Chrome developer site, they have some information about how the page grouping is made, but he doesn’t know how detailed it actually is.
One of the tricky parts is also it’s very hard for us to understand when a page is something that is not meant to be indexed because all of the canonical decisions and all of that.
Just looking at an individual page on its own, it’s sometimes not absolutely clear is this something that can be accessed directly, or does that cookie that was set in the beginning need to be set to access the page… like what all is involved there.
So I imagine that’s always kind of tricky to balance out.
Mueller, therefore, suggested that making use of the folders to organize your URLs can help Google to understand these groupings and may treat them individually when it comes to Core Web Vitals. Google takes into account both URL structure and page content to better understand the grouping patterns.
Your Check List In The Meantime
As we wait for more insights into how crucial optimizing our noindexed pages really is, there are several things you should do as of now. Firstly, do not exclude noindex pages from your site out of worry that these will have a negative impact on your search rankings, it is to make sure the pages still exists with the user in mind and not to get them off completely. Even if they’re not meant to display in the search results, they still hold as much importance as an indexed page if you plan to get visitors to them. Secondly, if you have noindexed pages that are very slow, not complete, or are not user optimized then either make a plan to fix them or unpublish them. Google Core Web Vitals are focused on user experience, so make sure you are catering to your user.