Okay, here’s a question. I did the search [congoo] recently and didn’t get the home page of Congoo–why not? If you view the source of http://www.congoo.com/, it turns out that they have a noindex meta tag:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />
Okay, so Congoo apparently doesn’t want their root page to show up in search results pages. Fair enough. But just for fun, I did the search on Ask, Yahoo!, and MSN. Ask doesn’t show the root page from Congoo, but Yahoo! and MSN do. MSN shows just a url reference:
But if I click on the Cached link, I get the message “Could not find the requested document in the cache.” So it looks like MSN may handle noindex meta tags by showing a url reference but not any snippet.
Now let’s look at Yahoo’s result:
Huh. They show a 15K page with a Cached link. I clicked on that link and the cached copy had the noindex meta tag on it.
So based on a sample size of one page, it looks like search engines handle the “noindex” meta tag:
- Google doesn’t show the page in any way
- Ask doesn’t show the page in any way
- MSN shows a url reference and Cached link, but no snippet. Clicking the cached link doesn’t return anything.
- Yahoo! shows a url reference and Cached link, but no snippet. Clicking on the cached link returns the cached page.
Something to be aware of. Personally, I’d prefer it if every search engine treated the noindex meta tag by not showing a page in the search results at all.