Wordpress SEO - Eliminate Duplicate Content From Google

November 19, 2006 – 6:57 am

by Darren

Google has been on a rampage for a long time as it relates to duplicate content. Why does this matter for Wordpress Bloggers? Because if your duplicate content problem gets bad enough, you will end up suffering in the Google search engine rankings, which are the number one source of traffic for all websites. Let’s examine the problem and see if we can find some solutions.

I’ve experimented with a pretty extreme solution that has done quite well. You can view the Absolutely Fa-Bulo.Us Celebrity Blog for an implementation. This website was registered on 8/30/2006 and already receives well over 1,000 unique daily visitors from Google. Here’s the SEO design concepts.

This assumes you’re using this configuration: PHP, Mod_Rewrite

1) Eliminate Google from crawling dynamic content - Use disallow statements in robots.txt
2) Eliminate the “Tagging Categories” and replace with a dynamic sitemap
3) Use Dynamic Meta Tags to ensure that the Title and Meta Description are different for each post

Here are the results when you look at the site command in Google. Each post is listed one time, with only a few problem pages at the very end of the listing. This is almost completely clean, and the high Google traffic should prove that the system works quite well.

1) Add a robots.txt exclusion to remove the sludge from your website. This should be enough for almost all Wordpress Blogs

User-Agent: *
Disallow: /wp-content
Disallow: /?

That will remove all of the dynamic pages (anything with a ? in it) and most of the un-needed template pages which can cause harm. Since you’re using Mod_Rewrite to make the pages more search engine friendly, you should get rid of the orginal URL. This will do that for you.

2) Eliminated the Tagging System and replaced it with an automatic Sitemap system

This step should be quite controversial. I’m an SEO foremost, who does blogging. So I have no clue what the system of “tagging” was supposed to accomplish, but it has managed to add a ton of duplicate content to the search engine index. Most blogs are horribly indexed, and this will, of course, cause your more lost income than anything else you can get wrong.

I wrote my own Sitemap system which can be see in action here. You’ll notice it adds a new page for each 50 pages. Simple. Everytime you add a post, it adds a new entry in the sitemap. Every 50 entries creates a new Sitemap page. I’ve used this system on many of my websites and always found it to be extremely helpful. I am used to having every post I write added with 24 to 48 hours using this system. I’m sure there are plugins available. If not, I suppose I could make this sitemap into a plugin.

3) Use Dynamic Title and Meta Tags

There are a great number of patches/plugins which will allow you to do this in Wordpress. Don’t hesitate to do so. You only really stand a chance to rank if you employ clean, descriptive Titles.

Hopefully this treatise will give you some idea of a philosphy I’ve used to rank quite well in the search engines using Wordpress Blogs. I plan on expounding on this in the next few weeks with more detailed posts to clarify meanings, but this should get us started. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  1. 2 Responses to “Wordpress SEO - Eliminate Duplicate Content From Google”

  2. I have mixed feelings on #3 - as you said, it’s controversial. I’m not an expert, so I want to say that up front.

    With the sitemap ( which is an interesting take, though not a route I would go ) , you lose categories. When I visit a blog for the first time, whether through a link or from Google, after reading the post in question, I generally start to hop through the categories, looking for interesting things. With the sitemap only, you lose the ability to do this.

    So though you may pick up some new visitors, they may not become repeat visitors, since it’s hard for them to find other posts of interest.

    By Leroy Brown on Feb 19, 2007

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  2. Nov 20, 2006: Eliminate Duplicate Content From Google by WordPress SEO

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