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Backlink Analysis Part II: Robots Meta Tag

In the first part of this guide, we saw how we can get good quality backlinks by checking the robots.txt file of a website. There is another important attribute to check too in web pages before you exchange or purchase links, Robots Meta Tag.

Robots Meta tag is a tag similar to the Meta description and Meta keyword tags. Search bots look for this tag, once they have checked the Robots.txt file. Using Robots Meta tag, you can specify various things including, should your page be indexed, should the links on a particular page be followed, etc.

An example of a Robots Meta tag is thus:

<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”/>

This Meta tag, as its content indicates, tells the bots to index the page and follow all links on it. Meta tags are placed in the head section of the page in between <head> and </head> tags.

You can have one of the following contents on this tag. Here are the explanation of some of them.

Index: Tells the bot to index the current page.
Noindex: Tells the bot not to index the page.
Follow: Tells bot to follow all links on the current page and index them.
Nofollow: Tells it not to follow any link.
Noarchive: Prevents caching of the current page.
NoODP: Prevents the Open Directory Project’s description of the website from appearing in search result pages.
Nosnippet: Prevents caching as well as description of the page on search results.

The result of such a bot is far-reaching. If you purchase a link from a page which has used a ‘nofollow’ Robots meta tag, your link will look like a DoFollow link, but it is actually a NoFollow link with no weight at all.

If you check Google Knol, you will see there is a Robots Meta tag implemented which prevents the links from getting indexed. This makes all link building through Knol valueless.

Next time, before purchasing backlinks, check for these tags as well as the Robots.txt file

Part I Link Analysis Through Robots.txt File

Copyright © Lenin Nair


  1. very very helpful article! thanks!

  2. Lenin,

    While there are lot of disallowed Urls for GoogleKnol in the robots.txt file, the articles are not disallowed. You can verify this easily by checking the cached page at Google (or any search engine).

    With that said however, all links on the article pages themselves are Nofollow (ala Wikipedia). Not sure when they switched over to this, but it has been done. Perhaps having a forum post or two in more than one forum has tipped the hand on that.

    Ronnie T. Dodger

  3. Ronnie,

    There is a robots meta tag on Knol right from the beginning. It helps indexing any knol published. However there is a nofollow attribute that doesn't help index any link in any of these knols. I am one of the first knollers and I had reviewed this in my article about knol.

  4. nice information.
    but here i want to ask something.

    so if i use Index,Nofollow

    still good for exchange link?


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