We previously covered John Mueller of Google say that “links are between indexed URLs, so if one side is gone, the link is ignored.” So if page A links to page B and one of those pages are noindexed, then it sounds like Google won’t count the link. But it might not be the case, Google’s John Mueller now says it depends.
John Mueller of Google said that the other day on Twitter when he was asked about conflicting messaging from Google on the topic.
As Patrick Stox said on Twitter, there was conflicting information on this:
It’s up for debate. As I mentioned there is conflicting information from Google on how they treat this.@methode : They counthttps://t.co/5BWvzh3tNF@JohnMu : They don’t counthttps://t.co/ooFl9gsKRRhttps://t.co/OAl0S549lN@ahrefs: 😱
— Patrick Stox (@patrickstox) January 13, 2021
Here is what Gary Illyes from Google said in December 2020:
something with noindex will never reach the serving index, but we will have the fetched copy for things like link graph calculation.
— Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) December 17, 2020
Here is what John Mueller of Google said in November 2019:
well, if it’s robotted, it’s still indexed (just as a url). Returning 404 (removing it from the index) would be the right way to get them dropped. Links are between indexed URLs, so if one side is gone, the link is ignored.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) November 19, 2019
Why the conflict? John said it depends.
And it doesn’t matter in the bigger picture, so I’m happy to leave it open 🙂
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January 13, 2021
I guess this can be tested out?
Forum discussion at Twitter.