Restrict Google From Indexing your Help Center

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23 Comments

  • Eric L
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    Hi,

    Just wondering how long it takes after applying the above in the header for Google to stop showing the Help Center.

    King Regards
    Eric

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  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hi Eric!

    This is dependent on when Google decides to re-index your pages, I believe; it's not something you can control from Zendesk. However, you can request Google to re-index your pages; you can find instructions on that here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6065812?rd=1

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    1
  • Jessie Schutz
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    Hey Eric, just a quick addendum here. Evan, who wrote this tip, also let me know that you can request removal of the existing search results, because they can stick around for a while. You can find more info on that here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals?pli=1

    1
  • Eric L
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    Hi Jessie & Evan,

    Thanks for that the above worked great except for one issue which you may or may not know about. The reason out site was still being indexing is due to the robots.txt file not covering all bases. The following was missing, if this could be added to our robots.txt file this will prevent accidental indexing again:

    Disallow: /hc
    Disallow: /auth
    Disallow: /account

    If this could be added to the standard template used when adding that meta tag that would be fantastic for other users. In the mean time if anyone has this issue simply use the web tools above and go to URL Removal and enter:

    yourzendeskdomain.zendesk.com/hc
    Directory Removal

    yourzendeskdomain.zendesk.com/auth
    Directory Removal

    yourzendeskdomain.zendesk.com/account
    Directory Removal

    This took about a day to apply but is no permanent.

    Kind Regards
    Eric

    1
  • Sean Crago
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    If you use this to restrict Google from indexing the site for search, does this also negate the benefit of enabling Google Analytics?

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    @Sean word is that it shouldn't have any effect on Google Analytics. I'm looking for documentation to back that up, but they are separate platforms, so it shouldn't be an issue. 

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  • Katie Arathoon
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    Is there a way to restrict access to individual guides? We have two KBs with some duplicated guides on each one, and would like to control which ones show up in search. 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    @Katie there is a way to prevent Google from indexing a specific article as described in this post. Basically, you can accomplish what you're trying to do by restricting access to Help Center content.

     

    Let me know if that works for you. 

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  • Katie Arathoon
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    @nicole thanks, but that doesn't solve our problem. We need the guides to be available to everyone, we just don't want them to show up in search results. 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Katie - 

    I've been checking around internally, and the official word is that there's no way to restrict individual guides from being indexed. Your options are either to put them behind the login or restrict the entire HC from being indexed. 

    Let me know if you have any further questions!

    Best, 

    Nicole

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  • Alexandra
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    Hello, we don't have this implemented in the Document Head html, because we do want our articles to appear in Google searches. But I'm having a hard time getting results from article body content. For example, I have an FAQ article. If I search for one of the questions in the body of the article, word by word, it still won't appear as a result in Google. Any thoughts?

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Alexandra - 

    Here are a couple of resources that should help you with your SEO so that those show up better:

    About SEO in Help Center

    How Zendesk uses hreflang tags in the Help Center for SEO

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  • Melanie Leu
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    Hi,

     

    currently our document head shows the following:

    Do I need to replace this with the like shown in the article or just add that line to it?

     

    Thanks!

    Melanie

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  • Evan Dalsted
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    Hi @Melanie,

    I've updated the images within the documentation to reflect the new theme editor layout.

    You should retain the line of code that exists on line 1 and simply add the new code on an additional line.

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  • Lila Kingsley
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    Hi,

    We have a custom theme designed by Lotus themes which I want to apply to our sandbox.  As it is a sandbox, I do not want it indexed.  Just want to confirm where to put the "<meta name="robots" content="noindex">" code, as the document_head.hbs file has multiple lines of code whereas your example has only one

    The first line in their version of the document_head.hbs is <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />.  Would I still enter the <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> line right under that?

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  • Evan Dalsted
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    Hi Lila,

    Yes, that is correct. Just place the code highlighted in this document on a new line below any code that you already have in your document_head.dbs file. 

     

     

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  • Lily Dodge
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    Would it work to add the <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> code directly into the html of a specific article? I have just one article I want to de-list from Google index search. 

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  • Michael Mander
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    Hey - I can't find the button in Step 3 - there isn't anything to the right of "Live". 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hey Michael - 

    Apologies; that layout changed recently and we haven't updated the article yet. It would now look like this: 

     

    Here's the announcement about those changes: Themes page UI updates

    -1
  • Michael Mander
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    Hey Nicole,

    So where is the link to edit code now? 

    Thanks

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hi Michael - 

    If you click on the tile for a theme, the next screen has an "edit code" button on it: 

    -1
  • Michael Mander
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    Does this only work for custom themes? We are using the default Copenhagen theme - is there a way to stop this from being indexed in Google? Thanks

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  • Brett - Community Manager
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    Hey Michael,

    You would need to be on Guide Professional to edit your Copenhagen theme. Guide Lite will not include this feature unfortunately :-/

    As for restricting Google Indexing you can do so using the steps Evan provided above, however, you'd need to be on Guide Professional to have access to this.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    -1

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