In a video on YouTube, Google’s John Mueller said that the ‘noindex,follow’ command in the meta tags of a web page will eventually be interpreted as a ‘noindex,nofollow’ command.
That is not surprising. If Google does not index a page, it cannot follow the links on the page. Here’s John Mueller’s statement:
“It’s tricky with noindex, which I think is something of a misconception in general within the SEO community. With a noindex and follow it’s still the case that we see the noindex. In the first step we say ‘okay you don’t want this page shown in the search results’. We’ll still keep it in our index, we just won’t show it and then we can follow those links.
If we see the noindex there for longer than we think this page really doesn’t want to be used in search so we will remove it completely. And then we won’t follow the links anyway. So noindex and follow is essentially the same as a noindex, nofollow. There’s no really big difference there in the long run.”
You can view the video here:
How to find out if your pages use the noindex command
Use the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to check if your web pages use the noindex command. The website audit tool will inform you about website issues that can have a negative influence on your rankings on Google and other search engines: