Previously I’ve published a method of redirecting review list pages to their corresponding product pages in Magento. In hindsight, this approach was incorrect and, with further insight into how Magento works, I’ve found a new and better method of reducing duplicate SEO content issues on Magento installs.

Through the powerful XML layout files Magento themes are powered by, you can insert meta robots tags into any page view. With this in mind, we can begin to reduce the number of views/templates that are openly asking Google and other major search engines to index them.

I know from experience that this solution works:

<reference name="head">
<action method="setRobots">

<reference name="head">
<action method="setRobots">

This code belongs in the layout.xml file in your Magento theme, not the base theme. What we are doing is hooking into the correct page templates and inserting meta robots that will ask Google to visit the page and follow the links from the page, but not to insert the page into Google’s index.

You will only want to do this if you are showing your reviews on your product page in a custom theme. Doing this without a custom theme will be like asking Google to ignore all of your customer’s words. Typically user generated content is where Google can begin to differentiate content on large e-commerce websites, so this is extremely important.

If you’ve got any questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below. Or, if you are interested in any of our services; SEO, PPC or web design, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Aaron Dicks

Performance Director

Performance Director of Impression. Search engine optimisation, paid media and web analytics consultant. Also programmer and digital all-rounder. @aarondicks

Aaron has specialist knowledge in SEO, PPC and Analytics Consultancy.

6 thoughts on “Add meta robots noindex to Magento review pages

  1. Brahms Mount says:

    I’m getting duplicate title tags in webmaster tools – a long list of review/product/view – and I don’t have a layout.xml in my template directory. Can you tell me what code to put where in this case?

    1. Aaron Dicks says:

      In that scenario, at least you’re keeping the content all on one page, so yes, it’s certainly not bad.
      There’s a lot of advice out there that hidden content can be seen as spam/lower value, but in this case I think it’s absolutely harmless.
      Hope this helps

  2. Federico Chulilla says:

    Hi, Why is better than redirect the review page?

    1. aarondicks says:

      Hi Frederico
      Given your question I assume you’re at a point in time where you need to commit to either noindexing or redirecting those pages. Can you describe your current situation a little more for me?
      My two solutions only really focus on highlighting the different ways you can remove these pages from the index. On a vanilla theme, reviews may not be shown on the product page in full so I wouldn’t want to redirect by default.
      You raise a good question, though, I think I’ll look into this again..!
      Thank you

      1. Federico Chulilla says:

        Hi, in our theme we have a link to the page reviews review/product/list/id/XXX/ (Magento standard functionality). I have added the reviews to to product view and we believe redirect those pages to the product view would be the best solution. When we read yor post we had doubts but after your response we understand the reason of your decision.

  3. Giovanni Putignano says:

    Where I have to put this code?