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SEO - Reducing significance of irrelevant kewords.

I wrote "having importance" since I do not really know the right way to say this.

I have certain pages in my site like "Terms of Use" and "Privacy Policy" and all that admin stuff, and for some reason google gives them great importance, they are in the footer and don't have any tag or anything so it's kinda weird.

But anyway, I see in Google Webmaster Tools that some of the keywords for my site are stuff like "Privacy Policy" and of course this has nothing to do with my site, I don't want those pages to have that big importance, and probably steal "juice" from the other pages.

What's the best method of stopping this from happening?
maybe this? <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, FOLLOW">

There are links from the "Terms" pages to the home page and other important pages so is this what I should put?

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marked as duplicate by John Conde Jul 26 '11 at 0:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
I don't think this question is a duplicate. This is about reducing importance of pages, while the other of keywords. –  DisgruntledGoat Jul 26 '11 at 12:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The short answer is no. There is no way to tell Google the pages aren't important without simply telling Google to ignore them completely (via, as you have suggested, NOINDEX, although you should really use the robots.txt for this).

It used to be the case that nofollow would cause any page rank that was directed to those pages to be redistributed elsewhere. Use of nofollow to achieve this was know as "Page Rank Sculpting". For a few years now, Google has changed their policy so that instead of redistributing the page rank, it simply evaporates.

Here's an example:

How things used to work - You have a page with 10 links and page rank 5. Five of the links are nofollow so the page rank gets divided between the remaining 5 links, each of the getting 1 point.

How things work now - That same page with 5 followed links and 5 nofollowed still have page rank 5. However, that score is now divided between all 10 links. The 5 followed links each get 0.5 points. Another 0.5 points simply evaporates on each of the nofollowed links.

As such, there's no way to control what pages are more "important". It's an all or nothing, include or ignore situation. As long as a page is included/indexed, Google/Bing/whoever will decide for you how important it is.

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won't robots.txt make the Search Engine ignore it completely? that "Terms" Pages still have links in them that may be useful. –  fiftyeight Jul 25 '11 at 23:58
    
fiftyeight is correct. Yes you can set priority with a sitemap - see my answer –  Daveo Jul 25 '11 at 23:58
    
@Daveo Priority in sitemap means nothing -- no more than a hint which search engine has no obligations to obey. –  LazyOne Jul 26 '11 at 0:02
    
what's important to me is if the robots.txt blocking the page will "evaporate" the link juice from these pages since they have link in this to other pages of the site. –  fiftyeight Jul 26 '11 at 0:12
    
@fiftyeight As I said in my first sentence, the short answer is no. You can't tell a search engine what pages are more or less important. That's your answer. It's not the one you want but it's correct. Priority in the sitemap means pretty much nothing. –  Endophage Jul 26 '11 at 17:03

Yes you can do this by setting the priority within the sitemap.xml

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitemaps#Element_definitions

example

<url>
<loc>http://www.foo.com</loc>
<lastmod>2011-06-03</lastmod>
<changefreq>daily</changefreq>
<priority>1.0</priority></url>
</url>

So in your case to set a low importance you could use 0.1 or 0.2 as the priority

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