The wonder of robots meta tags added to stories

I expected increasing traffic.

Introduction

I’m a beginner of Medium story writer. I’ve posted about two articles recently. Since it was my first experience posting blog stories, I have watched the number of accesses increase with excitement. In the beginning, there are some accesses to the stories from the internet. Some days later, however, I recognized there is almost NO access to the stories.

My stories’ views

Google doesn’t show my stories.

So using some keywords, I tried to search by Google. Eventually, I found that even the keywords were most specific about my stories, Google didn’t show anything about my stories!!

Using Lighthouse

To investigate why Google doesn’t show my stories, I decided to use the tool — Lighthouse. Lighthouse is an inspecting tool for improving the quality of web pages.
After installing it as a Chrome Extension, I ran it on my Medium story.

Run Lighthouse

Viewing Lighthouse Report, I recognized that it says, “Page is blocked from indexing.” …What? …I couldn’t believe my eyes. If it’s not indexed, there’s no way Google will show it.

Lighthouse said, “Page is blocked…”

Examine my story’s HTML source

To find why my story page has been blocking Google crawler, I went over my story’s HTML source by clicking the right button on the page and selecting “View Page Source.” Gotcha! The metadata, its name is “robots”, was defining the “content” value as including “noindex”.

The metadata has a “noindex” value.

Compare with the other writer’s HTML source.

I wondered about the other Medium writers’ stories, “Are their stories’ “robots” metadata the same as mine?” So I also examined the other writer’s story. Then I found that their stories’ metadata of “robots” set “index” instead difference of “noindex”.

The metadata has an “index” value.

Why only my stories are excluded from indexing by Google?

Considering the above things, I decided to ask Medium Support to tell me why my stories have the keyword “noindex” and whether I should become a Medium member if I want to let my stories be searchable by Google.
Now, it’s in progress. The answer hasn’t arrived yet. I will report the solution and what I did to solve this problem if I get a response.
Please look forward to it!

To be continued…


UPDATE: Medium Support told me the reason.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from Medium Support that was very simple:

 You can read about SEO on Medium in our help center.

So I read the help document. The document describes their passionate desire to keep the platform of high quality. I found out that they try to keep quality by making a system that protects from creators who post something like spam.

They describe the system as following:

Medium is currently in the process of slowly rolling out a change that limits what Medium content is made available to third-party search engines, as well as Medium’s native search and tag pages. The overwhelming majority of content that Medium will no longer be allowing to be indexed is what most people would consider spam, and the net effect will be more traffic to quality content long-term.

And I understood why my stories have metadata of “noindex” by the following sentence.

As the new system is being rolled out, it may take a little bit of time for you as a creator to become a trusted part of the Medium network and meet the threshold for being indexed, but if your stories meet our basic quality threshold, they will end up in external and native search indexes.

This information satisfied me. I was freed from my bother!

Conclusion

I learned some lessons from this investigation. They are below:

  1. Medium has a system that controls what documents should be indexed by search engines to keep their platform of high quality.
  2. For beginners, you should continue publishing your best writing on Medium to win the trust of Medium.
  3. Read the help documents!😜

I’m going to make an effort to write stories that in poor English but helpful for readers! Dreaming of appearing in search results…

I hope this article helpful for the beginners of Medium.

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