This very related to this question "X-Robots-Tag: noindex" on an HTTP 301 response, however I don't see a definitive answer.

We have subdomains we use for our affiliate links, the affiliates publish a link to the subdomain which in turn 302 redirects to the main site.

However the subdomains are being indexed (as you usually find with 302 redirected URLs) and I would like to remove them from from the index.

I thought about removing them in GWT using URL removal, but I think they may become indexed again, so I was wondering about the possibility of using an X-Robots-Tag HTTP header in conjunction with the 302 redirect.

Can you use both together, or will only 1 be seen? If both are seen, will the noindex work; or would you just go the route of removing in GWT?

  • Why not use a 301? There's no reason why you can't send both headers (it's just another header in the response). If Google doesn't "see it" it's because it's deliberately ignoring it.
    – MrWhite
    Feb 5 '15 at 10:31
  • We don't want to use 301's or direct links as we don't want the links form our affiliates to pass any weight to our main site.
    – Max
    Feb 5 '15 at 11:25

Google considers the status code before looking at everything else, so the X-Robots-Tag will be ignored. We did some test a year ago with a client and this was not working.

The strategy that we used was to remove manually the URLs in the Search Console and add the folder to the robots.txt. An alternative is to use javascript redirects, but this is not very user friendly.

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