Google introduces a New Robots Tag: indexifembedded

Google has just introduced a new robots tag, indexifembedded to give more control to site owners over which content they want to be indexed.
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indexifembedded

On 21st January 2022, Google introduced a new robots tag, indexifembedded to give more control to website owners over which content they want to be indexed by Google.



What exactly is indexifembedded tag?


With the new indexifembedded tag, you can tell Google to index your content when it’s embedded through iframes and similar HTML tags in other pages, even when the primary destination of the content has the noindex tag.

It works in combination with the existing noindex tag only when the page with the noindex tag is embedded into another page through an iframe or a similar HTML tag, like object.

The example that Google gave was that if podcast.host.example/playpage?podcast=12345 has both the  noindex  and  indexifembedded  tag, it means Google can embed the content hosted on that page in recipe.site.example/my-recipes.html during indexing.


Use Cases of Google’s New indexifembedded tag:


1. Video Embeds:

When asked by SEOs for further explanation of the indexifembedded tag, John Mueller (Search Advocate at Google) gave an instance of video embeds.

In situations where media publishers might not want to get their pages indexed but still want to allow other third-party pages that have embedded that content to use it for indexing, this new tag can be used.

Currently, if they don’t want their media pages to be indexed, they use a noindex tag on such pages. However, this allows prevents embedding the content on other pages during indexing.



2. PDF Embeds:

Another tweet by Stephen (SEO @ Splunk) mentions that the new indexifembedded tag can be used for PDF embeds. Website owners can noindex the raw PDF but the pages that have the PDF embedded will still benefit greatly from the content in the PDF.



There might be a lot of other use cases of the new robots tag that we’ll get to know about as more website owners start adopting the new tag.


Difference Between the noindex and indexifembedded tag:


noindexindexifembedded
1. If noindex is used for a page, it instructs search engines to not show the pages in search results. This also prevents any embedding of the content on other pages during indexing. 1. indexifembedded, if used on a page of Site A will instruct Google to not index the page. However, if Site A’s content is embedded in Site B using an iframe, Google can index the embedded content.
2. noindex can be used alone. 2. indexifembedded works in combination with noindex.
3. noindex is supported by most search engines.3. indexifembedded is currently only supported by Google.

How to add indexifembedded in combination with the noindex tag:


The first option would be to add the meta tag in the head section of the HTML:


<meta name="googlebot" value="noindex" />
<meta name="googlebot" value="indexifembedded" />
<!-- OR -->
<meta name="googlebot" value="noindex,indexifembedded" />

Alternatively, you can specify the tag in the HTTP header:


X-Robots-Tag: googlebot:noindex
X-Robots-Tag: googlebot:indexifembedded
...
OR
…
X-Robots-Tag: googlebot:noindex,indexifembedded

Let’s wait and see how publishers and SEOs make use of Google’s new indexifembedded tag. Check out my SERP Volatility Monitor to keep track of any SERP changes due to Google Algorithm Updates.

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About the Author

Nimit Kapoor

Hello! My name is Nimit Kapoor and I’m a digital marketer who helps brands improve relationships with their customers. I have experience in developing and executing marketing strategies and campaigns for various brands. I also hold a Masters Degree in Marketing and Big Data from the University of Sydney, which has enabled me to look beyond just traffic and followers and focus more towards applied analytics.

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