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Opened 8 weeks ago

Closed 4 weeks ago

#4549 closed defect (fixed)

Noindex'ing thin theme author indexes

Reported by: jonoaldersonwp Owned by: dd32
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Theme Directory Keywords: seo 2nd-opinion
Cc:

Description

When theme author archives (such as https://wordpress.org/themes/author/dans7919/) contain fewer than three themes, they should output a meta robots tag with a value of 'noindex, follow'.

Change History (10)

#1 @DannyCooper
8 weeks ago

Just a point of note, some of the most popular theme developers have less than three live themes.

OceanWP is the most obvious example - https://wordpress.org/themes/author/oceanwp/
(creator of the most popular theme on wp.org - excluding TwentyX themes)

Last edited 8 weeks ago by DannyCooper (previous) (diff)

#2 @jonoaldersonwp
8 weeks ago

That's fine - these pages are still low value, and shouldn't be entry points into the site in their current condition. They're also competing with / conflicting with the author profile, and the theme itself.

#3 @dd32
8 weeks ago

  • Owner set to dd32
  • Status changed from new to accepted

If we're going to noindex author archives pages, we'll have to do it for every author - not just based on the number of themes.

I can understand why these pages aren't high value in the search index, so I'm okay with noindexing them, but I expect others will disagree with that. We should probably make Themes/Plugins more prominent on the Profiles page instead though.

#4 follow-ups: @jonoaldersonwp
8 weeks ago

I don't agree that we need some kind of artificial rule on which is indexed and isn't because 'fariness'; that feels a bit silly.

That said, I'd be equally happy if we noindex'd all of them, and, also came up with a way to include/reference them on Profile pages.

#5 in reply to: ↑ 4 @dd32
8 weeks ago

Replying to jonoaldersonwp:

I don't agree that we need some kind of artificial rule on which is indexed and isn't because 'fariness'; that feels a bit silly.

While it is in the spirit of fairness, if a "thin" theme author archive isn't worth having as a search result then realistically none of them really are.
With >= 3, we'd be dropping 80% of the archives already, so keeping the remaining 20% doesn't seem like it'll be of much benefit to end-users as it's more likely than not, that the author they're looking for won't be listed.

#6 @jonoaldersonwp
8 weeks ago

Agreed, let's noindex them all :)

#7 in reply to: ↑ 4 @dd32
8 weeks ago

Replying to jonoaldersonwp:

That said, I'd be equally happy if we noindex'd all of them, and, also came up with a way to include/reference them on Profile pages.

FWIW that already exists: https://profiles.wordpress.org/wordpressdotorg/#content-themes
It's just a bit buried unless linked to directly..

#8 @dd32
5 weeks ago

  • Keywords 2nd-opinion close added
  • Owner dd32 deleted
  • Status changed from accepted to assigned

Actually, I don't want to do this - I'm not convinced that it's something that's needed.

#4550 makes the page title and description better, which I think it more useful than the alternative.

#9 @jonoaldersonwp
5 weeks ago

  • Keywords close removed

It's needed. We have ~60,000 thin pages in the index, soaking up crawl budget and creating internal competition/cannibalisation.

These aren't good/useful entry points to the site, and, they're harmful as-is.

The ideal outcome would be for them to be made better, more useful, and more integrated with user accounts. Given that that's full of unknowns (and enormous resource requirements), the next best solution is to noindex them.

#10 @dd32
4 weeks ago

  • Owner set to dd32
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from assigned to closed

In 9068:

Themes: deindex Author archives in the theme directory.

Fixes #4549.

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