Removing Noindex Tags in WordPress: A Simple Guide for Better SEO

To have your WordPress website rank well on the search engine, it should be able to find and index your content. Now, let’s say there is a noindex tag on one of your pages. That means Google and other search engines won’t be able to discover, analyze, and store information from that page.

So how to remove noindex tags in WordPress? Well, that’s what we will discuss in this blog. I will tell you how the WordPress experts add and remove noindex tags and what that does to a page or site. Let’s begin with what a noindex tag is.

What is Indexing?

Indexing is an SEO process where search engines like Google discover your website, analyze its content, and include it in their search results. It’s like creating a giant library catalog for the internet. It’s a key in WordPress SEO tactics and helps users find relevant information through search queries.

Here’s a breakdown of the indexing process:

  1. Discovery: Search engines use web crawlers, also known as spiders, to scour the internet for new and updated content. These crawlers find your website by following links from other indexed websites or by submitting your sitemap directly to the search engine.
  2. Analysis: Once a crawler finds your website, it analyzes the content of each page. This includes reading the text, code, and meta tags to understand the subject matter and how it might be relevant to user searches.
  3. Indexing: If the crawler deems your content valuable and relevant, it adds your webpages to the search engine’s index. This index is a massive database that allows search engines to quickly retrieve information when users enter a search query.
  4. Ranking: When a user types in a search query, the search engine uses a complex algorithm to determine which indexed web pages are most relevant to the user’s intent. Factors like keyword relevance, user experience, and website authority all play a role in how high your pages rank in the search results.

By ensuring your website is indexed, you’re giving yourself a chance to appear in search engine results and attract organic traffic.

What is a Noindex Tag?

A noindex tag is an instruction you can give to search engines, specifically telling them not to index a particular webpage on your website. Think of it like a “Do Not Enter” sign for search engine crawlers. While noindex tags can be useful in certain situations, they can also hinder your website’s visibility in search results if used incorrectly.

Here’s how noindex tags work:

  • Implementation: Noindex tags can be implemented in two ways: through a meta tag within the HTML code of your webpage or through the HTTP header response.
  • Impact: When a search engine crawler encounters a noindex tag, it skips the indexing process for that specific page. This means the page won’t be stored in the search engine’s index and consequently won’t show up in search results.

A noindex tag can help hide private, temporary, or duplicate content. However, it’s very important you use the noindex tags strategically. If you accidentally noindex important pages on your website, it can prevent them from being ranked in search results and reaching your target audience.

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How to Remove Noindex Tags in WordPress?

WordPress is quite a user-friendly CMS and it lets you remove the noindex tags in a few ways. It depends on where the tag has been implemented. Here are a few common methods.

Via the WordPress Settings

First method is through the WordPress settings. It offers a straightforward way to remove noindex tags and ensure your entire website is visible to search engines. Here’s how the process goes:

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to the settings.

Step 2: In the menu, scroll down to Reading settings and locate the section titled Search Engine Visibility.

Step 3: Within the Search Engine Visibility section, look for a checkbox labeled “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”.

This checkbox essentially acts as a master switch for search engine indexing on your entire WordPress website.

  • If the checkbox is checked, it means search engines are instructed not to index your website.
  • To allow search engines to index your website, make sure this checkbox is unchecked.

Step 4: Once you’ve unchecked the “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” checkbox, click on “Save Changes” at the bottom.

After this process, search engines will be able to crawl and potentially index all the pages on your website.

Delete the HTML Meta Tag

Although deleting the HTML tag for removing noindex is a fairly easy process, WordPress experts usually recommend against it. But still, if you want to delete the HTML meta tag, here’s the process.

Step 1: Open the webpage you suspect has a noindex tag in your web browser. Right-click anywhere on the page and select “View Page Source” (or similar option depending on your browser).

Step 2: Use the search function (Ctrl + F) to find “noindex”.

Step 3: Look for code resembling <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”>. This indicates a noindex tag is present.

Step 4: Cautiously delete the entire <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”> line from the code.

Before you execute this process, make sure to backup your WordPress website. If you’re not comfortable with code editing, there are some safer methods available.

Delete the noindex Tag from header.php

This is another complex method (for the beginners) with some potential risks. And this method only targets noindex tags placed specifically within the header.php file.

Here’s how this process goes:

Step 1: First, create a child theme before editing the header.php file. This way, theme updates won’t overwrite your changes.

Step 2: Use a code editor to access the header.php file within your child theme (or directly if not using a child theme).

Step 3: Search for code resembling <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”>.

Step 4: Cautiously delete the entire <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”> line from the code.

Step 5: Save the changes to the header.php file and thoroughly test your website to ensure everything functions correctly.

If you want to go for this method, I suggest you consult with dedicated WordPress programmers. They understand the risks and are prepared to deal with them as necessary.

Add custom function in function.php

While adding a custom function in the functions.php isn’t really risky, it’s still recommended for the advanced users. It involves adding a custom function to your theme’s functions.php file, a key part of the WordPress directory structure.

This function can be designed to override any existing noindex tags and ensure specific pages or your entire website are indexed by search engines.

Here’s how the process goes:

Step 1: Navigate to Appearance → Theme Editor in your WordPress dashboard. Select the theme you’re using and locate the functions.php file.

Step 2: Editing theme files directly can be risky. So create a child theme before modifying functions.php. This protects your changes from being overwritten by theme updates.

Example of the function you can add (replace “post” with “page” if targeting specific pages)

function remove_noindex() {
  if ( is_singular('post') ) { // Change 'post' to 'page' for specific pages
    echo '<meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />';
add_action( 'wp_head', 'remove_noindex' );

This code snippet checks if you’re viewing a single post (you can change “post” to “page” for targeting pages). If it is, it injects a meta tag with “index, follow” instructions, essentially overriding any noindex tags.

If you want help with executing any of these steps to remove the noindex tags, consult with our WordPress development agency. We will handle this while considering the risks as well.

Benefits of Removing Noindex Tags in a WordPress Website

Noindex tags can be a handy tool for hiding specific content from search engines in WordPress. However, if used incorrectly, they can also prevent valuable pages from being discovered and reaching your target audience.

Here’s why removing noindex tags may be beneficial:

Increased Organic Traffic

Search engines are the primary source of website traffic for many businesses. By removing noindex tags from valuable content like blog posts, landing pages, or product pages, you allow search engines to discover and potentially index them.

This increases the chances of your website appearing in search results for relevant keywords, ultimately driving more organic traffic.

Improved Search Engine Ranking

Search engines consider various factors when ranking websites in search results. One such factor is the quality and quantity of indexed content. By having more relevant and valuable pages indexed, you improve your website’s overall search engine ranking potential. This can lead to higher visibility in search results, attracting a wider audience.

Enhanced User Experience

Search engines often use website content to understand what a webpage is about. If a valuable page is accidentally noindexed, it won’t be shown in search results for relevant queries. Removing noindex tags ensures users searching for information related to your content can find it, leading to a better overall user experience.

Brand Awareness and Credibility

When your website ranks higher in search results, it becomes more visible to potential customers. This increased visibility can lead to greater brand awareness and establish your website as a credible source of information in your niche.

Targeted Traffic and Leads

By strategically removing noindex tags from relevant pages, you can attract more targeted traffic to your website. This means visitors who are genuinely interested in the content or products you offer, increasing the likelihood of conversions and leads.

Removing noindex tags doesn’t guarantee immediate results. Search engines take time to revisit and update their index. However, by strategically removing noindex tags from valuable content, you pave the way for better organic traffic and search engine ranking.

FAQs on Removing Noindex Tags in WordPress

I removed the noindex tag, but my page still isn't showing up in search results. Why?
Removing a noindex tag doesn't guarantee immediate indexing. Search engines need time to revisit your website and update their index. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
I accidentally noindexed my entire website! How do I fix it?
Luckily, WordPress has a built-in setting for this. Go to Settings > Reading and scroll down to "Search Engine Visibility". Make sure the checkbox labeled "Discourage search engines from indexing this site" is unchecked. Click "Save Changes" to confirm.
I'm not comfortable editing code. Can I still remove noindex tags?
Absolutely! The methods mentioned above for Yoast SEO and WordPress Reading Settings don't require any coding knowledge. If you suspect the noindex tag is in your theme files, it's best to consult a developer for assistance.


Removing noindex tags in WordPress is a straightforward process that can significantly improve your website’s search engine visibility. As you may expect, there are a few ways to remove the noindex tags from a WordPress website.

  • Via the WordPress Settings
  • Delete the HTML meta tag
  • Delete the noindex Tag from header.php
  • Add custom function in function.php

If you want to execute any of these methods effectively, consult with our WordPress development experts today!

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Chinmay Pandya is an accomplished tech enthusiast specializing in PHP, WordPress, and Laravel. With a solid background in web development, he brings expertise in crafting innovative solutions and optimizing performance for various projects.

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