I understand that internal SERP pages should not be indexed, but I’m not sure I understand why.

Forum White Hat SEO I understand that internal SERP pages should not be indexed, but I’m not sure I understand why.

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  • #22194
    seohelper
    Keymaster

    From one post I’ve seen on this, “The rationale is to avoid disappointing Google’s users and to otherwise prevent search-engine crawlers from wasting their time downloading and analyzing pages that presumably won’t help visitors or your business.”

    But what if the pages could potentially offer value because of the way they’re accessible and structured? Is that a valid reason? Or, could something render that reason invalid?

    Let’s take this example, a search within a restaurant index site for “Sushi”. The site will take the user’s location and the search query will be:

    .com/search/query?cuisine=sushi&location=miami

    To me this seems like a very useful search page to have indexed, as many people could Google ‘sushi Miami’

    However, the user could then put a filter on the internal search results page for restaurants open past 8PM, looking like

    .com/search/query?cuisine=sushi&location=miami?hours=after8pm

    Now this seems to be a query that’s much less useful.

    How *should* this work? Given that these are dynamically generated pages, what would actually be indexed? The default page without the filters being used? Should that indexed?

    OR, should there maybe be a canonical reference in each of these pages to another SEO-friendly page, for example instead of .com/search/query?cuisine=sushi&location=miami, it would be .com/cuisine/sushi-in-miami?

    Would love some input here.

    Thanks!

    #22195
    thehotclick

    This is where .htacess magic comes into play. Rewriting the url to be user friendly. But who said dynamic pages should not be indexed? If a page serves value, it should be indexed. This was a misleading statement back in the day because back in the day google used to rank moving content like blog pages, which were a major annoyance. But if your dynamic content stays consistent ,is valuable, answers a users query it serves a purpose. You can also look at traffic flow in analytics and see if users are moving down your funnel from those pages. If you notice a majority of traffic exiting then you may need to improve your dynamic pages to improve site flow. Think about user experience, if they land on a page searching specific keywords, would that page satisfy the users query? If so then it’s a valuable page for your website.

    #22196
    marcuspearce449

    Just sharing my opinion here, not expert advice – I think the reason why some people prefer noindexing search pages is because when working on large websites (more than 100k URLs), crawl budget is an issue that they want to optimize their website for. So they come up with these small tactics like noindexing search pages, or basically anything that is not more important than their content pages.

    So if you have a small or medium-sized website, you shouldn’t have to worry about it. And yeah internal SERP pages do provide value. I find tons of keywords where Amazon/Etsy’s Internal SERP pages are ranking at the top. Though I really wish some expert come here and comment on this so that if I am wrong, we can all learn something important here.

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