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This 142 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 142 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 > >     
WordPress And Google: Avoiding Duplicate Content Issues
What about posts in few different categories?

 3:50 pm on Sep 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey guys,

I was wondering what do you think about blogs and WordPress. As you know wordpress can have categories in which it'll show certian posts.
So now I can have 3 categories: A,B,C and then make a post which will be posted in all 3 cats...it'll show in each category, as well as on main page and in archives. As you can see there are many places on the site where that certian post shows.

What do you think, is this duplicate content, or not? How does Google treat such a behaviour?

Any clues?



Patrick Taylor

 10:20 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

The default WordPress sidebar was never too clever. I think if someone is really intent of doing it right, a solution is to edit the sidebar code to remove categories and archives altogether, and to create an Archive Page template with a link to the page in the sidebar. In my experience noindex is a second best solution and possibly isn't respected by the likes of MSN Search (Live) in any case.

Also, the way that permalinks are set up in WordPress is critical from day one.


 11:08 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

g1smd, very good theory, and I basically it's absolutely true.
Could you please advise which .htaccess code to use to rewrite page to page/?
As of now, I use this code for 301 redirect...which is site wide:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^site\.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

However this only redirects non www to www, and doesn't add / at the end of pages... Also another problem could arise here, for real files on that domain, like wp-admin.php or wp-login.php, it wouldn't be so cool to have / at the end of them...domain.com/wp-admin.php/ is definitely a not way to do...

Thanks for great posts!

[edited by: engine at 5:10 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2006]
[edit reason] examplified [/edit]


 11:12 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Check the Apache forum here to see if the question has already been answered; and if you can't see anything like it, then ask that question...

There are more Rewrite experts over there than in the Google forum here. :)


 11:25 pm on Sep 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

ok, will try that now :)


 4:59 am on Sep 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I also have a wordpress blog, and here is what I have done to reduce all dupes:

Setup a mod rewrite, or index.php url system for the site first.

Make the index page feed only a summary of the last twenty posts.

Limit the home page full posts to a particular number (I choose 4), and use the 'excerpt' plugin to dictate how many charaters you will show for each summary post on the front page (I chose 120)

Use category-1, category-2 to display your category system instead of index.php.

Redirect the non www to www

Redirect index.php by it's own to root.

Noindex tag on all achives by month, week etc except per post.

Use the head meta plugin to pull the first 90-100 words from the post and use as description for each individual post.


 10:21 am on Sep 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing CainIV... I guess what you did is pretty ok.
I almost did the same thing, but I just don't use excerpts for main page. I use standard full length posts...


 1:54 pm on Sep 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>Use category-1, category-2 to display your category system instead of index.php.

I don't get this part. Can you explain a little more?


 8:03 pm on Sep 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Placing the files 'category-1.php, category-2.pgp' in the themes folder causes wordpress to search for that category index.

For example, when you manage categories, track the id number associated with each category and write it down. Sports could be cat 2 for example.

Create a file named category-2.php and place it in your themes folder, and decorate / make it how you want.

By default Wordpress should use that category-2.php file instead of routing to that category via the index.php, so it gives you full control over meta tags, description and the page look for each category.


 4:35 am on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I personally didn't get on with wordpress at all. Infact I just dumped a number of "just another wordpress blog" pages.


 8:42 am on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I setup 301 redirection from domain.com/page to domain.com/page/ as well...now I am waiting to see what big G is going to do with my site ;)


 7:19 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)


You and me both, I guess we just have to wait and see if google approves of the changes. *fingers crossed*


 1:44 am on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ma2T, well I cerianly hope I'll get some better rankings. While waiting I'll try to add even more unique content and develop my linking structure ;)


 8:29 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

i don't care about the archive and category pages. they really aren't of too much importance to me. they're still not supplemental either when i check. are you guys using the head-meta-desc plugin that creates a meta description from the first sentences in a page so they all look different? might wanna start.


 6:06 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Having gone through this recently with a client's website that is built entirely on Wordpress, I will share what I have found *can* create duplicates of the index page, categories or posts in Wordpress and some possible fixes:

1. Redirect non www. to www

2. redirect index.php and index.php/ itself to www
root if the index.php (non mod rewrite) option is used on your site. Only rewrite those specific urls (not any other character searches are the trailing slash on index.php)

3. If early enough in the process, use template code to determine whether a page is a tag, post, category or root and write a description. Depending on some circumstances you may want to redirect the tag to root.

4. Use templating (category-1) system to create a unique page with unique content for each category in your site.

5. Many Wordpress versions use a paging system (category_name=5&paged=2). If you choose to page your category, make sure you exclude those pages by way of noindex, nofollow. I do not use paging and yet some indexed 'paged' categories I had to redirect to the main category.

6. Archives by date are usually ok, however, they use the same description in some setups that the root page uses. If this is so, try to change the meta descrip by using php on the root page and using is_date()

7. Use the head-meta-desc plugin which will create a unique description for each post based upon the number of characters you wish.

Hope this helps.

[edited by: CainIV at 6:07 am (utc) on Oct. 2, 2006]


 8:03 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the great tips CainIV. Are those help you to keep good rankings in SEs w/o having dup. content issues and supp. results in Google?


 4:54 am on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Those suggestions are there to show you you some of the possible duplicate issues that can happen in Wordpress versions 1.5 and up. Whether they help you rank better is outside the scope of the post.


 7:18 pm on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had an SEO'd Wordpress theme developed for me recently. Got fed up with WP because of the issues raised here i.e. duplicate content, indexing of 'junk' pages, lack of unique meta tags, poor layout for search engine optimization purposes, etc.

Sticky me if interested. Works on Wordpress 2.0 only.

It's still early days, as to its effectiveness. Google is doing a jig with its indexing of the site it's used on (my blog).

I'm quietly hopeful. Otherwise, it's back to good ole HTML (and a few time-saving tools), for me!


 1:10 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't forget too that for many (even most perhaps) WordPress templates that there are links to a specific trackback URI which will produce the same content as an individual post in most cases. For example depending on your permalink structure:


Would produce the same content back to the browser as:


Most WordPress templates have a link titled "permalink" that appears below the post in the meta div that when clicked on will result in the same content.

This could also cause issues if people grab that permalink URI and use it to link to you versus the more simple URI.

In my experience, Google is more likely to recognize things like this and ignore them, not indexing the /trackback/ pages. (But certainly not always!) However Yahoo seems to grab anything it can that looks like a URI. Therefore I often take my raw server logs and filter them to identify every URI that Yahoo is trying to index. I often find examples like this where the bots are finding URIs that probably shouldn't be indexed and then I can take appropriate action.


 4:01 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

... building sites to suit google. Sigh.


 2:05 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ugh ... yea building sites for google in 2006. Bla, take me back to the good ole days of 2003. So here is my input, I switched over to wordpress about 16 months ago and now a handeful of my best ranking sites are wordpress powered.

I have thought about (read worried) the dup penalty for a while now so I was pleased to read this great thread (webmasters world should have a wordpress or blogging) category.

One of these wordpress sites is a "halloween blog" and currently ranks number one for that term on google and "ranked" also well for terms like "scary game" and "scary games". I launched this site last July, each "post" contains it's own meta description and title. However I had the same content on many of the various pages due to wordpress structure. Categories, Index, Permalink, ect ....

I set up the header.php file with the code supplied on this thread, I also thought it made more sense to have wordpress only pull the "excerpt" of posts for the catagories and index. Posting the entire post to the permalinked page.

This way if I write my own excerpt the content will be very different on a category page and the permalinked page so I set up my blog with the new structure as well.

My blog has had these changes now for about 8 or 9 days, last night google dumped every dam page, post and category from my blog. The site was pulling in a ton of traffic from google and now my traffic has dropped by probably 95% ...

I guess I will have to wait till next year to really rank well in google for my seasonal site. I also made these changes on a "Tour de france" blog.... that has ranked incredibly well now for about 6 months. Gooogle has not dumped any "blog" pages or categories from that site.

Stuff should not be this dam hard, I should be able to create unique content that people enjoy, get some inbound links and wait for ranking.

Too dam hard google ... lets go back to a simpler time....


 3:34 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

The code posted in this thread is said to only allow the index, pages, and posts to be indexed. As another poster pointed out, it makes more sense to allow only index, categories and single posts, instead of pages. Can anyone please come up with code to do this?

I have doubts on how many pages Googlebot will follow one after the other in a huge established blog before getting bored.


 4:08 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

simply add "nofollow" in your template pages


 4:17 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Add nofollow or do a redirect from 'paged' pages to posts in htaccess.


 4:35 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would add noindex to the pages that you want to be excluded, instead.

Using nofollow conveys a lack of trust for the content of those pages linked to, but still allows them to be indexed if someone else links to those URLs.

I think that nofollow isn't the right thing for the job just here.


 4:53 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

IMO, if you wordpress blog is currently ranking well, I would not make any changes.

There are plenty of Wordpress blogs out there, including a few of my own, that rank just fine without having to add anything at all.


 5:09 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

The risk is that the site gets tanked for duplicate content issues once you get to some hundreds or thousands of pages each with several URLs delivering the same content.


 5:34 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I hear what you are saying g1smd, but I would wait either way. If you are site is already tanking, and has been for while.. I would make some changes right away. If your site has just tanked, why not wait a decent amount of time to make sure it's not another "bad data push?"

If you step outside the webmaster box of thinking, and just look at the average wordpress sites with categories, I find it hard to believe that G would filter/penalize those sites for duplicate content.

If your wordpress blog has dropped off G, then I would look at the big picture.. Inbound links, quality of content, etc..


 7:06 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Add nofollow or do a redirect from 'paged' pages to posts in htaccess.

Sorry, meant the entire tag including noindex


 7:33 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it just might have been too much all at the same time:

- added "no index, no follow to a bunch of pages
- changed the layout in sidebar (removed archive links)
- changed content on category pages from full posts to excerpts

I think I will return in due time just too bad it has happened during the middle of October ... I just cost myself a couple of thousands bucks ;-(

Thank goodness for yahoo and msn.


 8:15 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, add the noindex, but are you sure you wanted to add nofollow as well?

I think that you DO want spiders to get to the rest of the site, even if it is via pages that are not going to appear in the index.

I would only add noindex to those pages.


 9:31 pm on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

My bad, this is what I added:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">

Strange that google would can the site?


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