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I have see a lot of pros and cons articles about the noarchive directive. All the articles were subjective.

Do you have an objective list of when to use it and when not to use it?

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Do you have a particular reason why you wouldn't want your pages to be cached? If not, why deprive your visitors of a potentially useful feature? Or can you guarantee that you site will never be down or inaccessible by anyone? – Ilmari Karonen May 16 '12 at 17:16
It is a classified ads website. People often change prices, details, etc. which can be an issue (commercial and legal) if other people can access an archived version. I was wondering the impact on the SEO side... – Toto May 17 '12 at 20:40
up vote 2 down vote accepted

As far as I know, using "noarchive" meta tags has no direct SEO effect — it doesn't affect your placement in search engine results. (Indeed, I suspect that some folks would complain rather loudly if it was found to do so; there might even be legal issues related to the "fair use" status of such archives.) All it does, from a user's viewpoint, is remove the "Cached" link from the search results.

However, doing so does deprive your users of the ability to view the cached version when your site happens to be down or slow or inaccessible for some other reason. Thus, it's not something you should do unless you actually have a valid reason for it (which you say you do, but I'm also writing this for the general audience, so I'll include this note here).

Also note that merely using "noarchive" doesn't actually stop e.g. Google from showing snippets or instant previews of your pages. You can disallow those using the "nosnippet" meta tag, but that will make your entries in search results look a lot more spartan and less informative, which might hurt your click-through rate, so you may want to think twice before doing that.

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