How to NoIndex A Page, Paragraph, or PDF?

Every website owner wants his or her website pages to rank well in search engine results (SERP). But some pages don’t’ need to be indexed and ranked in search results. These can be pages with confidential information, pricing information, thank you or checkout page, some company stats which need to be shared within the organization only, etc. You will learn how to NoIndex a page or a specific paragraph in a webpage.

How to NoIndex A Page?

Sometimes you need to hide some pages from being indexed in search engine results. In this case, you need to NoIndex those web pages. There are two ways to NoIndex webpages as highlighted here:

1. Add NoIndex Tag

This is the foremost used way to NoIndex a web page. In this way, you need to add noindex tag as a directive in your web page’s source code. This noindex tag needs to be added to the <head> section of your webpage. This way Google and other search engines can see and obey this noindex directive at the start of the webpage’s source code.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

In case you want to NoIndex a specific bot instead of all then your noindex tag should be like:

<meta name="bingbot" content="noindex">

One thing you must remember is if you add this noindex tag to a webpage then you should not block that web page in the robots.txt file. Otherwise, your webpage with noindex directive can rank in search results as Google is not crawling this webpage.

2. HTTP Response Header with noindex

Another way to NoIndex a web page is to return an X-Robots-Tag header with a value of noindex.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Robots-Tag: noindex

But if you want to NoIndex a specific bot then this code will be like:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Robots-Tag: googlebot: noindex

How to NoIndex A Paragraph?

Actually, there is not any way to NoIndex a paragraph or a portion of text using noindex tag on your webpage. But you can highlight a specific paragraph or text not to be shown in search results which is available on your web page using data-nosnippet HTML attribute.

John Mueller’s View on How to NoIndex A Paragraph?

In a recent Google SEO office-hours video a user asked a query about not indexing a specific paragraph in a webpage. The question was like this ‘Is there any way to mark do not index this paragraph from my web page?’ as if I don’t want Google to show content from that specific paragraph in its search snippet.

John replied to this query with two possible options as highlighted below:

1. Use Data NoSnippet HTML Attribute

John Mueller replied to this query with first option as using data-nosnippet that should be used if you don't want to show some particular text or paragraph in Google search snippet.

Not really so at least there’s no direct way that you can do that uh so you could use the data no snippet to say that this is something that you don’t want to have shown in a snippet that might be enough in a lot of cases.

John Mueller

<p><span data-nosnippet>This paragraph will not be shown in Google search result</span>.</p>

2. Use Javascript File

Further, John added another way to not index a specific paragraph or text by adding that particular text in a JavaScript file and block that JavaScript file in your robots.txt file. This way Google will not crawl text in that JavaScript file and it will not be shown in the search snippet.

If it’s really content that you must avoid to have index there like if there are licensing reasons or other legal reasons why it should never be indexed like that one of the things you could do is use JavaScript to pull that content in and use robots.txt to block that JavaScript file from being crawled.

John Mueller

But you should leverage JavaScript file only in critical situations like legal reasons why that must not be indexed.

How to NoIndex A PDF?

You might have PDFs on your website in addition to the web pages. Sometimes you might need to noindex some PDF as if you don’t want to show that PDF in search results. In this case, you will need to add an X-Robots-Tag: noindex in the HTTP header.


You might have some web pages, specific text in your webpage, or some PDFs that you don’t want to show in search results. To hide all these you should know how to noindex in real. If you want to urgently remove some content from your website then leverage URL Removals under the Index section in your Google Search Console.

Hope now you can easily leverage ways to noindex your website’s internal information, confidential data, and things that you don’t want to be shown in the search snippet.

Here you can see the Google SEO Office-hours video where John Mueller shares two ways to noindex a paragraph for your reference.

Options, How to make noindex

To address the SEO optimization needs of your users who want to prevent certain pages, paragraphs, or PDFs from being indexed by search engines, you can provide them with the following solution:

Robots Meta Tag: Encourage your users to utilize the "robots meta tag" within the HTML of their web pages. Specifically, they can add the following meta tag to the
<head> section of their HTML documents:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
This meta tag instructs search engine crawlers not to index the content of the page. Users can place this tag on individual pages, within specific paragraphs (if applicable), or even within the metadata of PDF documents.

Robots.txt File: Alternatively, users can utilize the robots.txt file to prevent search engine crawlers from accessing specific pages or directories on their website. They can add the following directive to their robots.txt file:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /page-url

Replace "/page-url" with the URL of the page or directory they want to exclude from indexing. This method is effective for excluding entire pages or directories rather than specific paragraphs.

Canonicalization: If users have duplicate content issues or multiple URLs pointing to the same content, they can implement canonical tags to specify the preferred URL for indexing. This helps consolidate the indexing signals for a particular piece of content and prevents dilution of search engine ranking.

HTML5 Element: <meta name="robots" content="noindex">: For specific paragraphs within a webpage, users can wrap the content they want to exclude in a <div> or <span> element and add the "noindex" robots meta tag to it.
<div name="robots" content="noindex">
<!-- Content to be excluded from indexing -->

PDF Metadata: For PDF documents, users can modify the document properties and add the "noindex" directive within the metadata. They can use tools like Adobe Acrobat or PDF editing software to set the document properties accordingly.

Content control options

  • User Authentication and Authorization: Implement user authentication systems where users need to log in with credentials to access certain content. You can also incorporate authorization mechanisms to control which users have access to specific content based on their roles or permissions.
  • Membership or Subscription Model: Restrict access to premium or exclusive content to users who have subscribed to a membership plan or paid for access. This can be done through paywalls, subscription models, or gated content strategies.
  • Content Encryption: Encrypt sensitive content within documents or on web pages to prevent unauthorized access. Users would need decryption keys or specific permissions to access the content.
  • IP Filtering: Restrict access to content based on IP addresses. This method allows you to limit access to specific geographical locations or known users' IP addresses.
  • Content Expiry or Time-Limited Access: Set expiration dates or time-limited access to content. Users can access the content for a specified duration, after which it becomes inaccessible or requires renewal.
  • Watermarking or Digital Rights Management (DRM): Implement techniques such as watermarking or DRM to protect digital content from unauthorized copying or distribution.
  • Conditional Content Delivery: Use conditional logic to deliver content based on user attributes, behaviors, or other factors. For example, you can show or hide content based on user preferences, previous interactions, or demographics.
  • Legal Agreements and Terms of Use: Require users to agree to terms of use or legal agreements before accessing certain content. This can include explicit consent for accessing sensitive or restricted information.
  • Robots Meta Tag: As mentioned earlier, use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing specific pages, paragraphs, or documents, thereby restricting public access to that content.


  • Robots Meta Tag: Utilize the <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> directive within the HTML <head> section of web pages to instruct search engine crawlers not to index specific pages or sections containing sensitive or confidential information. This meta tag tells search engines not to display those pages in search results.
  • Robots.txt File: Create and maintain a robots.txt file on your website server to communicate with search engine crawlers about which pages or sections should not be indexed. Use the Disallow directive to specify particular URLs or directories that should be excluded from indexing.
  • Password Protection: Password-protect sensitive or confidential content to restrict access to authorized users only. Implement user authentication mechanisms to ensure that only authenticated users can view the protected content.
  • Metadata Removal: Remove or restrict metadata associated with documents or web pages that could reveal sensitive information. This includes metadata such as author names, document creation dates, and revision histories.
  • Content Encryption: Encrypt sensitive content within documents or on web pages to prevent unauthorized access. Even if search engines index the content, it will be unreadable without decryption keys.
  • Content Redaction: Redact sensitive information from documents or web pages before publishing them online. Use tools or software to permanently remove or obscure confidential data from the content.
  • Legal Disclaimers and Notices: Include legal disclaimers or notices on web pages containing sensitive information to inform users about the confidentiality of the content and any legal restrictions on its use or dissemination.
  • Regular Audits and Compliance Checks: Conduct regular audits of your website content to ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements. Stay informed about changes in laws or regulations that may affect the handling of sensitive information online.
  • Privacy Policies: Maintain up-to-date privacy policies that clearly outline how sensitive information is handled, stored, and protected on your website. Provide users with transparency about your data practices and compliance efforts.

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