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Google webmaster tools duplicate titles
Fingers68




msg:4681406
 5:13 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google Webmaster Tools is displaying dupe titles

http://www.example.co.uk/
http://www.example.co.uk/?cat=126&paged=143
http://www.example.co.uk/?cat=1&paged=1
http://www.example.co.uk/?cat=6&paged=3

These urls are nonsense and no idea where there from, but as they resolve just like this;

http://www.webmasterworld.com/?anything=noncence

I feel compelled to do something, but what if anything?
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:02 am (utc) on Jun 20, 2014]
[edit reason] changed example domains to example.com [/edit]

 

netmeg




msg:4681470
 11:11 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sounds like you have a pagination/parameter issue. You need to read up on that and fix it.

John Barrymore




msg:4681474
 11:28 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Add following code for your site
<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.co.uk/"/>

For different page of your site you need to assign url of that page in herf tag: see it
Like your page is with the name /abcd.aspx
<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.co.uk/abcd.aspx"/>

aakk9999




msg:4681481
 11:47 am on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Paginated pages should not have canonical link element to the first page of pagination - this is in fact reported as "Mistake #1" on Google's 5 comon canonical mistakes:

5 common mistakes with rel=canonical
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/5-common-mistakes-with-relcanonical.html [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk]

The best practice for pagination is to implement rel next/prev.

Pagination with rel=“next” and rel=“prev”
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/pagination-with-relnext-and-relprev.html [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk]

Page title
With regards to page title issue, you may want to add page number to the title, such as, for example:

My Category Page Title - page 7 - example.com

This will get rid of duplicate titles.

There was also an interesting thread we had on this subject in the past:

Pagination - How to deal with title and description?
May 5, 2010
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4127131.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Fingers68




msg:4681485
 12:21 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Like I say these URL/strings are nonsense and nothing to do with my site.

There's no pages at the root, there's no internal links to these pages from anywhere.

These ?cat=126&paged=143 type pages are not (currently) indexed in Google.

This is no different to this EG http://www.webmasterworld.com/?anything=noncence&page=moresillyness

[edited by: aakk9999 at 4:01 pm (utc) on Jun 20, 2014]
[edit reason] Unlinked the example [/edit]

phranque




msg:4681496
 1:23 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

These urls are nonsense and no idea where there from, but as they resolve just like this;

http://www.webmasterworld.com/?anything=noncence

I feel compelled to do something, but what if anything?

301 redirect all these url requests with nonsense query strings to http://www.example.co.uk/

[edited by: aakk9999 at 4:02 pm (utc) on Jun 20, 2014]
[edit reason] Unlinked the example link in the quoted text [/edit]

aakk9999




msg:4681498
 1:30 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Like I say these URL/strings are nonsense and nothing to do with my site.

I apologise, completely I missed that!

In this case, having the canonical on the home page (as John Barrymore said) or doing 301 redirect with nonsense query string as phranque said would both solve the issue (duplicate titles should disappear once the solution is implemented and then Google recrawls these URLs).

Fingers68




msg:4681500
 2:06 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes I have used the 301 in the past where I have found people have linked to us and added some rubbish like this to the link and then google thinks this is a genuine url as it resolves with 200 OK.

I was hoping for something of a catch all as there endless possibilities for these ghost urls.

Cheers

not2easy




msg:4681541
 3:53 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Is this a WordPress site? Default settings will produce duplicate URLs adding in /category/ or /tags/ directories that don't exist but to resolve to a page with its own URL.

aakk9999




msg:4681551
 4:09 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I was hoping for something of a catch all as there endless possibilities for these ghost urls.


For the "catch all" you need to take a different approach: only return 200 OK for URLs with good (known) parameters that are in the whatever order your parameters should be and either redirect or return 404 for all other URLs (with parameters you do not expect or parameters you expect, but are in the wrong order).

Planet13




msg:4681597
 8:05 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

"For the "catch all" you need to take a different approach: only return 200 OK for URLs with good (known) parameters that are in the whatever order your parameters should be and either redirect or return 404 for all other URLs (with parameters you do not expect or parameters you expect, but are in the wrong order). "


+1

It is your server / application that is wrong and is providing a 200 status for pages where it SHOULD be delivering a 404 error.

I thought these would normally be listed under "soft 404s" in WMT?!?!?!?!

lucy24




msg:4681606
 9:16 pm on Jun 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I thought these would normally be listed under "soft 404s" in WMT?!?!?!?!

In googlespeak, a "soft 404" is a global redirect. It's what they're checking for when they randomly request 34j5uhycvo87gi4u985.html in hopes of eliciting a 404. Bad news if it's a 301 instead.

It is your server / application that is wrong

Your server/application never met google. There are default handlings of parameters depending on the page's extension; the server never imagined that a search engine would invent parameters out of whole cloth.

You can block or redirect requests that come with bogus parameters, but there's nothing wrong with going into gwt and clicking the box that says "this parameter has no effect on page content". Heck, I never knew I had any parameters listed in gwt until I looked up the Parameters tab in order to quote something. (This is really true. It was a nasty shock.)

aakk9999




msg:4681629
 12:55 am on Jun 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

the server never imagined that a search engine would invent parameters out of whole cloth


Just to clarify for the ones who are not aware - Google sometimes requests an existing URL to which it adds spurious non-existing parameters just to see what would be returned by the server. I have often seen Google adding one of more common WordPress parameters to URL and this can also happen on the non-WordPress site.

phranque




msg:4681727
 10:33 pm on Jun 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

In googlespeak, a "soft 404" is a global redirect.

not always - i've seen perfectly legitimate pages get marked as a soft 404 because the content of the page was about an error - not error page itself.
no 301 - just a 200 response.

lucy24




msg:4681745
 2:07 am on Jun 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

because the content of the page was about an error - not error page itself.

Eeeuw, will it never end?

Can you expand on this? It sounds alarming. Well, it also sounds like what happens in an imperfectly coded CMS if you request something with bogus parameters or a wholly imaginary URL. But this is one of your own sites we're talking about, right, so I'm going to go way out on a limb and assume they're not talking about some embarrassing technical error ;)

abhijit12a




msg:4681963
 8:14 am on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Did you check canonical tag of the page?

Fingers68




msg:4682020
 2:22 pm on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

@not2easy

Yes cheers, we have a wp blog at www_domain.co.uk/blog/ which is about 5 years old and the links have just been changed to permalinks. These strings are relative to the blogs old urls however the blog has always been in the blog folder, never been at the root.

The change may have effected this, just seems these pages, so will just 404 them and monitor.

lucy24




msg:4682035
 4:01 pm on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

these URL/strings are nonsense and nothing to do with my site.
...
These strings are relative to the blogs old urls however the blog has always been in the blog folder, never been at the root.

Are we talking about two separate and unrelated sets of URLs here? If the correct URL is deducible from the incorrect one, redirect. If not, you shouldn't need to take any action to 404 it. (Er... WP does do 404s doesn't it?)

Fingers68




msg:4682042
 4:36 pm on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

http://www.webmasterworld.com/?anything=noncence&page=523 [webmasterworld.com]

Just as the above url does not 404 I will have to redirect these pages. What's thrown me is that the wp-blog is in the /blog/ folder. So where is google getting these URL's from;

http://www.example.co.uk/?cat=126&paged=143
http://www.example.co.uk/?cat=1&paged=1
http://www.example.co.uk/?cat=6&paged=3

which were really

http://www.example.co.uk/blog/cat=126&paged=143
http://www.example.co.uk/blog/cat=1&paged=1
http://www.example.co.uk/blog/cat=6&paged=3

The WP-Blog is a bolt on to our main site which to be fair is just updated and posted to.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:01 pm (utc) on Jun 23, 2014]
[edit reason] fixed sample link to webmasterworld so url displays [/edit]

netmeg




msg:4682056
 5:11 pm on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Are you on shared hosting?

lucy24




msg:4682093
 8:48 pm on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just as the above url does not 404

Oh, lord, that's funny. If it were any other site we'd be in deep ###, but happily google seems to love WebmasterWorld (as evidenced by the way new posts are indexed faster than the page can refresh).

Fingers68




msg:4682122
 10:28 pm on Jun 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Our blog was like that also Lucy :-)

It might be best you edit that link I made up as it will turn up in gwmt as dupe description and titles. I think this is how I may have got these, people's inaccurately linking to us maybe.

We have two dedicated servers for our site nutmeg.

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