I'm developing a social website for book readers, with public user profile pages. For each user, there are several pages available:
- The main user page (about me, last activity, ...)
- Several book listing pages:
- Personal library
- Reading list
- ... and more
I already have close to 10,000 registered users, many of which have little or no activity.
I know that Google cannot index millions of user profile pages from day one, and I don't want it to index useless pages that basically contain the user name and "This user has no activity". Google is not willing to index many of my pages at the moment, and I would like to be able to give it a hint as to which pages are relevant.
Should I explicitly prevent Google from indexing the empty profile pages? I was thinking of a
noindex, follow robots meta tag, that would basically tell Google that it's OK to grab links from this page, but that its content is of little value.
I know Google will not magically find empty profile pages if they're not linked from anywhere (and I won't make the mistake to put them in a sitemap); however I'm more concerned about the "almost empty" profiles: someone writes a single review, his profile page is linked from the book page, and suddenly GoogleBot finds his almost empty profile page, and his fully empty book listing pages. I don't want it to index those until they contain some content.
Is it a good idea to put some lower limit on the page contents (for example, a personal library page with at least 10 books, or a profile page with a long enough About Me and some activity to display), and only explicitly allow bots to index these pages?