Google On Sponsored Products In Category Pages; Good Practice To Not Show Them To GoogleBot

I asked John Mueller of Google about category pages that contain sponsored products. Does Google want sites to ensure Google cannot index those sponsored products. John Mueller said “some sites take care to prevent them from being indexed in various ways, which is probably a good practice.”

He didn’t go as far to say that it is part of Google’s webmaster guidelines and that is something Google frowns upon. He just said it “is probably a good practice” to make sure Google does not discover those sponsored products on those pages.

Here is the example I provided, of course I used cheese:

My question was “I had an interesting question asked about category pages that list products as sponsored. A lot of e-comm sites do this. Does Google treat the products labeled as sponsored differently just because they have a sponsored label on the UI?”

John responded “These are essentially just ads — like you might have on any site. Some sites take care to prevent them from being indexed in various ways, which is probably a good practice. Eg, AFAIK Adsense is blocked by robots.txt.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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