What is Indexifembedded?

On January 21, 2022, Google Search Central introduced a new robot tag called indexifembedded. While this doesn’t mean much for the average web user, the indexifembedded tag is useful for those who want more control over the indexing of their content.

More specifically, their embedded content. If your content has been embedded through iframes or other comparable HTML tags, you can use the indexifembedded tag to let Google know that you’d still like them to index this content in search results. This even works if the content page in question has a noindex tag.

Let’s learn more about this new robot tag and what it means for webmasters.

What is the Point of the Indexifembedded Tag?

According to Google, the indexifembedded tag has been introduced to address a problem that particularly affects media publishers:

“…while they may want their content indexed when it’s embedded on third-party pages, they don’t necessarily want their media pages indexed on their own.”

Before the introduction of the indexifembedded tag, publishers used a noindex tag on their media pages. While this did prevent Google from indexing these pages, it wasn’t exactly an ideal fix. 

See, during the indexing process, a noindex tag can prevent other pages from embedding the content. This stops you from really having control over your own content. Understandably, this didn’t really sit well with some media publishers.

When Can You Use the Indexifembedded Tag?

Now, while this new tag may have been intended for media publishers, many of them may not end up using it often, if at all. This is because it’s meant for content that uses a distinct URL for embedding purposes.

For example, a video publisher may have a separate webpage and URL for each episode in a series. Then, they may also have additional media URLs that link directly to the videos. These are commonly meant for third-party webmasters who want to embed the video on their site.

While the publisher often wants their content indexed on these third-party sites, they may not want the same for the media URLs themselves. This is when they would normally use the noindex tag, as referenced above.

However, when they use that tag by itself, it prevents other pages from embedding their content. Therefore, they had to index their media URLs if they wanted to allow embedding by third parties. 

Now, everything changes with the indexifembedded tag. When publishers use this tag with the noindex tag, they can tell Google to only index the content on a page when it has been embedded through iframes and related HTML tags. This means that they can keep Google from indexing the entire media URL, but still allow them to index that content if it has been embedded on another page.

How Do You Use the Indexifembedded Tag?

There are currently two different ways to use this new tag:

  1. Use the indexifembedded tag with the noindex tag in your code
  2. Throw both tags in the HTTP header

If you want to see exactly how the indexifembedded tag can be used in these situations, click here to see some examples from Google (scroll down!).

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