Everytime I've used the NOINDEX directive on a page, it made sense to use NOFOLLOW as well. I can't imagine a scenario where you would not want a page indexed, but would want the links inside it to be.

Can anyone describe a scenario where it would make sense to have a page that combines NOINDEX with FOLLOW?

  • Can you give an example of a page where it would make more sense to use nofollow and noindex? I can only think of maybe you have an entire section (or site) of interlinked pages that you don't wanted indexed, so the pages that are linked to also should not be indexed. Any solitary page that is noindex should probably be follow IMO.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 20:38
  • @w3d- We usually use noindex on staging sites and also in instances where we don't want a production site accessed through a certain domain (e.g. production apps on heroku can be accessed by {app_name}.herokuapp.com even after you map a custom domain to them.) So yes, in our experience it's always made sense to use noindex together with nofollow, because we're trying to avoid both duplicate content and duplicate links issues- but you're right to point out that this may be less applicable to specific pages...
    – Yarin
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 22:32

4 Answers 4


Yoast answers this very well in this blog post:

A better solution would be to add a <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow"> tag to those search results pages, as it would prevent the search results from rankings but would allow the link “juice” to flow through to the returned posts and pages.

Someone will inevitably link to a page you wish Google to not index. However, if you nofollow the links you are losing the benefit of that link. That page likely has links to your home page and other pages on the site which aren't noindex.

In certain cases you may have some pages you do want indexed but are only linked from noindex pages. (Although I would argue that in this case the site structure probably needs improvement.)

  • @DisgruntledGoat- "Someone will inevitably link to a page you wish Google to not index. However, if you nofollow the links you are losing the benefit of that link." -Excellent point. Good article link as well- thanks
    – Yarin
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 17:15

Perhaps a very non-user friendly site-map?


If you choose to noindex your privacy policy, legal and login pages then I don't necessarily see any reason to use nofollow on these pages as well.


We are using the Atomz site search service on our site. Atomz has a 10000 page limit, and our site has more. So we added "no index" to all pages that are not main content pages (mostly table of contents pages, of which there are many, for good reasons). However, we obviously want the links on these pages to be followed, so we added "follow". With this setup, all the important pages are crawled and indexed by Atomz and can thus be found by users. Of course, this also impacts other robots, like Google, but not indexing these table of contents pages seems to be a good thing for all searches.

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