Are you being TOO thankful? You shouldn’t be sharing your thank-you pages to Google! At least according to Associate Director of SEO for SEOM Robert Spinrad.

Why should you no-index Thank You Pages & Remove From Sitemaps?

When you submit a form, one way of tracking your success is with a Google Analytics goal, based on a visit to a specific page.

You do NOT want accidental traffic flowing to that “thank you” page, because it will mess with your Goal completion/conversion rates with false positives for each visit it might receive from Search Engines. You don’t want your conversion rates off-base for no reason, don’t flush those keyword research expectations down the drain with bad data!

  • Add a no-index tag to your thank-you page
  • Remove thank-you pages from your sitemaps
Note: Future #SEObits livestreamed will be done in my office with better Wi-fi, and won’t have Bluey on in the background because my son is sick and he really likes that show. In fact, I like Bluey too because the Dad is active and present in the kids lives, similar to real life. Unlike stupid Paw Patrol.

SEO Expert Input On Sitemaps & Thank You Pages

You should never include a /thank-you page in your sitemap you submit to Google.
True, False or it depends?

Is the thank you page behind a transaction? Because if it is Google would never see it UNLESS you put it in a sitemap and you probably don’t want that.

Kristine Schachinger

Completely contextual. It’s not as simple as a yes/no answer. Remember, an XML sitemap is not a substitute for substandard navigation, a wayfinder site map, &/or a site index.

Shari Thurow

The example shared has multiple thank you pages in sitemap. It is not a problem for websites with just one thank you page. Google bot stops crawling a page which does not refresh frequently. Check your server logs for answers.

Abishek Shukla

As others have said there’s no real value in doing it. You should only really add pages to the site map that you know provide value to a searching user.

Brian O’Connor SEO lead of Tours By Locals

Getting a thank you page indexed would make it harder to track conversions, if not make it impossible. So if it’s being used for tracking, I would double down in the “no”. But I can’t see an upside in any other case.

Marketing Tag Manager

Not if the thank you page is how you measure a conversion completion. If it doesn’t, maybe there’s something valuable on it?

Alli Berry SEO Director for Motley Fool

I can’t think of a single instance where you would want to. That said, if you did, it probably wouldn’t cause serious harm except maybe some entrances, thus throwing off GA goals.

Braeden Matson-Jones

I personally wouldn’t but I’ve always had tracking codes for reporting on mine so I don’t want my data skewed. Plus, how is it serving the user outside of a “goal completion.” That’s the deciding factor, in my mind.

Jesse McDonald Co-host of Austin Otaku Podcast

Yeah there is no organic search value in any CTA completion page that I know of. So why add it to the crawl of pages meant to be high quality for organic search?

Alan Bleiweiss

I mean, yea sure you should not, but under what queries would it show up anyway? Not sure I have ever seen one ranking. If you control the site; yes of course do it, if it requires dev time, I’d check if it actually gets any impressions if already created.

John Morabito

Since the thank you page is noindexed it shouldn’t be in a sitemap anyway. So yeah. Never.

Daniel Cheung

Frequently Asked Sitemap & Thank You Page Questions

Should I add a no-index meta attribute to my “Thank You” page where users arrive after submitting a form?

Yes. Generally, the “Thank you” page you redirect users to once they submit a form is used by Google Analytics as a Goal. This “Conversion” is a KPI or important metric that is often used to evaluate the success of your website’s marketing effort. You don’t want accidental visits to the page, and adding the no-index attribute ensures that page isn’t indexed by search engines, and made available to get traffic that may skew your tracking.

Should I include my “Thank You” page url in my sitemap?

No. Since you ideally excluded the page from indexation through a no-index meta attribute, it is contradictory to include the URL in your sitemap, which is generally used to TRY to get pages indexed by search engines.

Learning SEO one Bit at a time

I learn a lot about SEO by hanging out on Twitter, Facebook and Slack groups. I’m taking the time to record answer to common SEO questions or challenges in posts like these so you can learn SEO as well. Here’s some recent #seobits I’ve tackled

Categories: SEObits

Jeremy Rivera

Jeremy Rivera started in SEO in 2007, working at Advanced Access a hosting company for Realtors. He came up from the support department, where people kept asking "How do I rank in Google" and found in the process of answering that question an entire career. He became SEO product manager of, went "in-house" at Raven Tools in Nashville in 2013. He then worked at several agencies like Caddis, 2 The Top Design as an SEO manager and then launched a 5 year freelance SEO career. During that time he consulted for large enterprise sites like Smile Direct Club, Dr. Axe, HCA, Logan's Roadhouse and Captain D's while also helping literally hundreds of small business owners get found in search results. He has authored blog posts at Authority Labs, Raven Tools, Wix, Search Engine Land. He has been a speaker at many SEO conferences like Craft Content and been interviewed in numerous SEO focused podcasts.