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I have Blogger setup with the Blog Archive panel shown on every page so that users can easily get to old posts. The problem is that it lists the title of each page in this panel, meaning that the current page is getting keywords not directly relevant to it but to a different page.

For example, I might be writing about oranges, but a week ago I was writing about apples. The page about oranges is now seen by the search engines to also be talking about apples since there is a link in the Archive panel to my post from a week ago about apples. The opposite is also true where the apples page is also indexing the orange keywords.

Is there any way to exclude a certain section of a page from being indexed? (e.g. like having a whole <div> which is tagged as noindex or something similar.)

I know that Blogger has an option to remove the title of the pages in the Archive Panel, but I would prefer if they stayed there so that users know what posts are available.

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2  
Its just a little too much like 'cloaking' for the tastes of many search engines to hide certain parts of a page. Usability: meet "black hat seo experts" and the problems they create for the rest of us. –  Tim Post Jul 20 '10 at 23:51

4 Answers 4

The keyword text in a link is mostly applied to the page that the link points to, not the page that the link is on. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about it. You would probably be worse off by removing/cloaking the titles than by letting it be.

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There's no general way to do that and personally I wouldn't bother with it. Search engines are pretty good at recognizing relevant content on a page, and even though that content might show up in the keywords that search engines have found, it doesn't mean that it would make the page relevant for those keywords.

If you have a page about "Fish" and a page about "Dogs" (that has the link to the page about "Fish" somewhere in the sidebar), search engines will generally be able to recognize that the page about "Fish" is much more relevant for "Fish" than the page about "Dogs" that mentions "Fish" in the sidebar. It's possible that both pages might be found at some point, but generally given that mostly one page from the site is shown in the search results, that's not something worth worrying about.

There's no need to be fancy with that, and search engines are likely to just get more confused if you try (eg if you use JavaScript to hide the content, you never know when search engines will start to find that content regardless). Similarly, using iframes with robots.txt disallows or AJAX will frequently degrade the quality of your pages to users (slow it down or make it less usable on a variety of devices), so unless there is a very, very strong & proven reason that you need to do this, I would strongly recommend not bothering with it.

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I believe you can use an iFrame and the code inside will only be indexed if you let Google index that page. So if you put a nofollow in your robots.txt for the file that is loaded from in the iFrame you should be ok.

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Supposedly you can add the class robots-nocontent to elements on your page, like this:

<div class="robots-nocontent">

    <p>Ignore this stuff.</p>

</div>

Yahoo respects this, though I don't know if other search engines respect this. It appears Google is not supporting this at this time. I suspect if you load your content via ajax you would get the same effect of it not being present on the page.

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Ah yes, the mysterious <noindex></noindex> tags which also never got much traction. All options get a little too close to using a cloaker for the likes of Google :) –  Tim Post Jul 20 '10 at 23:46
    
Why am I not surprised that some search engines aren't supporting this? I would have thought Google would though - "Don't be evil" and all that. –  ChrisF Jul 21 '10 at 9:42
    
Not indexing a piece of a page is an extra step, it's additional data that requires parsing, so I find it understandable, given it's not something many people use, that Google would ignore it. It doesn't strike me as evil, just practical. It's a "nice to have" not a "must have" in my mind. –  artlung Jul 21 '10 at 15:06

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