I am getting Google Search Console reports indicating "Excluded by 'noindex' tag" issue on pdf files. Why is Google sending me emails when the pdf files are excluded by noindex tag? Noindex tag on pdf files is an expected behaviour in my case and I don't want to index the pdfs. Will this issue drop out by itself over time or do I have to make any changes to the website settings?

  • Have you asked in a Google forum?
    – Steve
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 5:36

2 Answers 2


PDFs are content, where Google guesses, they could be noindexed erroneously. They aren't blocked by robots.txt, so Google prefers to ask you. You are not forced to react on this notification, but you can think about closing the crawling of pdf files with robots.txt disallow rule.


Check the http header ... There exists the option to generate header tags within the .htaccess so it is possible the site is configured to noindex pdf files.

curl -I example.com

There are also online tools to check the header and the browser tools can also show it to you. These would be some of the syntaxes that may exist in the .htaccess file.

The X- prefix is added to any meta headers added into a HTML page. But can be emulated in the htaccess instead using the X- prefix.

<FilesMatch "/index.php?route=news/headlines$">
 Header set X-Robots-Tag "noindex, follow"

# add custom header to all requests
Crunchy-Tacos: "taste=delicious"

# add custom header to single file
<Files example.html>
    Crunchy-Tacos: "taste=delicious"

# add custom header to multiple files
<FilesMatch "\.(jpe?g|png|gif|mp3|wav|ogg|m4a|mp4|mov|wmv|avi)$">
    Crunchy-Tacos: "taste=delicious"

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
  <FilesMatch ".(js|css|xml|png|gz|html|woff2|slim.min.js)$">
    Header append Vary: Accept-Encoding

Header add Access-Control-Allow-Origin: "https://example.com"

Header set Cache-Control "max-age=300, public"

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