When a search engine robot comes to visit your site, you will receive information that can be either directives or indications. But what is the (basic) difference between these two concepts?
Can Google or Bing do what they want when indexing and analyzing a website? Not really. Some of the information you give robots is guidelines : engines have to follow them and, in general, this happens.
But sometimes it’s about thatinstructions (Where hint in English). And it is the engine that will choose the implemented action: monitoring the submitted information or not, according to its criteria …
So you will learn more about it by watching this video number 220:
Directive and indication, what is the difference? – Video no. 220 proposed by Olivier Andrieu (Abondance). Source: Abundance
Transcript of video 220: “Direction and indication, what’s the difference?” »:
“Hello and welcome to this 220th abundance video in which I wanted to discuss the difference between the terms‘ directives ’and‘ indications ’when a particular robot comes to the pages of your website.
So, let’s start with the directive: this is the information you will give to robots, and therefore to search engines, and this information is a bit of an order, that is, that the engine is “obliged” to follow this information. A typical example is a robots.txt file in which you will specify that the robot must not index URLs specified by the Disallow: command, or that it can index URLs marked with the Allow command: There, the engine must monitor this information. Meta robots “noindex” tag also when the robot indexes the page and in the html code of the page there is a meta robots “noindex” tag, you tell Google that you do not want this page to be indexed. It should not index it. The same if it is not an html page, for a pdf file or any other page with an x-robots-tag directive in the http header, is exactly the same. 301 redirection is this: you tell Google that a page no longer exists at this URL, that it has been redirected, that it has been moved to another address. This is a directive: the engine must look for another URL.
So that’s really the command you give to the engine: it has to follow this order, while the indication, which we call “hint” in English, the index, the indication, you actually give information to the engine, but it will do what it wants: either follows, or does not follow. A typical example is the “nofollow” link – moreover the nofollow link was a directive and today has become an indication for Google – so if you put a nofollow link a priori Google will not follow it, but if it wants to follow it, it will follow it because it is an indication. Exactly the same with the “nofollow” meta robots often used with index / noindex: if he wants to choose to follow links, he will. Exactly the same for the “canonical” tag: with the canonical tag, you tell Google that the page is duplicated by another. It has a canonical page address in the canonical tag, but if Google wants to follow a second path and take another canonical page for that page, it can do so and does so sometimes, and even quite often. The Hreflang tag is also for everything that is international with language and country, it is also an indication for Google to indicate the language and country of the page in question but if the engine wants otherwise, it gives itself the right to do otherwise.
You see, it’s quite simple: information is either a directive or an indication, it can’t be both, so either it’s a directive and at that moment the engine has to follow it, or it’s an indication and then somehow it does what it wants based on advice or information. or an indication you gave him, which the page gave to the engines.
Here are a few videos as usual on all these topics, I did a lot to revise it all a bit. Thank you so much, I wish you a pleasant week and see you soon on the new Abundance video! Thanks 🙂 ”