Website Duplicate Content Issue
First of all, let us try to understand What is this WordPress Duplicate content affair?
It is a simple thing to understand it. Having same content on multiple pages or locations.
of your website means you have duplicate content. Lets us consider you have the same post on multiple pages of the site. Then it will be accessed by multiple URLs like:
http:/www.mysite.com/my-menu/mypost and so on…..
This case may be with the content within your site or some content copied as it is from some other website. When a search engine like Google crawls for that particular content it finds multiple locations for the same content. Now, in this case the search engine gets confused which URL to show. So it shows one of the URLs and hide the other ones. Google may even penalize you for having lots of duplicate content.
What causes duplicate content?
There are so many things that may cause the duplicating of content. Generally, it is a technical reason behind it. Normally none of us would put the same content on multiple pages when there is no difference in the content. The case of putting the copy pasted content also seems to have the negligible possibility. So we left with the possibility of technical reasons only. However there may be numerous such technical reason, the main reason being that the developer doesn’t give it a consideration. The developer doesn’t think like a browser. If you ask the developer for the posts on different locations like:
The developer will not take them as duplicate content. It seems to be existing only once to them.
Creating Printer-friendly pages
When you create printer friendly pages and link them to your normal post pages then Google will find them and will be confused which one to show.
Session IDs are considered the common creators of duplicate content. You often use Session IDs to track the visitors. Like, an e-commerce site remembers what the person has added to the cart in the last visit. These session ids affix to the URL and cause to create a duplicate version of the page.
WWW and non-WWW
Sometimes search engines take www and non www versions of the site as duplicate content. In case both the versions of the website are accessible through different URL and having same content makes it duplicate. For example:
The URL parameters used for tracking also cause the duplication of the content. The URL sometimes contain the additional parameters which do not alter the content of the page.
WordPress have a feature of Paginating the comments. It causes the content to duplicate across the URLs.
How to identify the duplicate content?
You know the fact that your site may have duplicate content and you have some idea of the reasons behind that too. But, more important thing is how to make sure that your site has the duplicate data issue or not.
Using Search Operators:
There are some search operators which proves to be very useful in this case.
Use the following phrase to search for all the URLs on your site that contain keyword “My Keyword”.
site:mysite.com intitle:"My Keyword"
It will help you in searching for duplicate content for a particular keyword.
Google Search Method:
One method is you can write your site’s URL in Google search like site:mysite.com and look for the search results. Check all the results and you can find what all pages of your site are indexed with Google. In this way, you can check for the links which should not be there in the search results.
If you have a small site and do not have so many pages then the above method can be practiced easily. But if you have a site with a number of pages then practicing the above method may be a difficult task. So you can use some tools to identify the duplicate content. It will save a lot of time for you.
Google webmaster tools are one of the best choices for this purpose. Using Google webmaster tool you an easily find the pages with duplicate title and the duplicate description as well. It is really simple to do.
Go to Search Appearance, find HTML improvements in that and click on that. It will show you the duplicate description.
Fixing the Duplicate Content Issue
1. One of the simplest thing to fix the duplicate content issue is avoid creating duplicate content.
Do not create printer friendly pages. These are of no use. So, avoid creating them and some of the duplicate content will be avoided by itself.
Disable the session ids in the URL.
If www and non www both versions of your website are accessible then stick to only one and redirect the other version to this.
The feature of pagination should be disabled.
2. Redirecting the Duplicate Content:
It is one of the most sought after techniques of avoiding the Duplicate content issue. All you need to do is just Redirect the duplicate page to the Original page.
3. Using Canonical Tag:
Another thing you can do to avoid the duplicate content is using a rel=canonical tag. This tag is used when you are unable to avoid the duplicate content but you know this is because of some wrong Url. In that case, this element is placed in the part of the website. It drives the search engine to that version of the page which you want to show as the search result. The sample of the canonical tag to be used is:
Use Meta Tags:
If you want that the search engine doesn’t index a particular page then Meta tags can be used. It is the best thing to do when you want the page to be available for the users but do not want to index the page.
Duplicate Content is a big problem for the WordPress websites and blogs. It obstructs your SEO efforts and impacts the search engine rankings of the website negatively. Moreover, it may make the user experience poor. You have to keep an eye on duplicate content all the time. Unique and quality content will always boost your search engine rankings.