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5 Tips To Eliminate Duplicate Content On WordPress


In regards to SEO, WordPress is pretty much awesome out of the box, however duplicate content can become an issue with WordPress if you do not pay close attention to it, which can really mess up any SEO efforts put into your site.

Duplicate Content, What is it?

If you have no idea what Duplicate Content is and you are running a WordPress Site or Blog, then it is about time you find out. Duplicate Content refers to any exact text or meta-tags that can be found on more then one page of your website.

A small amount of duplicate content can not really hurt you much in terms of SEO. For example you may notice the text box on the top of my sidebar that talks about a Premium Theme Membership. This text appears on all my pages and thus it is considered duplicate content. However, since it is only a sentence long it shouldn’t affect me in terms of SEO as long as all my other pages have several unique paragraphs.

However, if you start duplicating content across your site in much larger amounts, you will start getting penalized by search engines like Google and your rankings will suffer.

Where is it in WordPress

Depending on your theme you may or may not have any Duplicate content, however, many themes out there will use a clip from your posts to show on category and tag pages (the_excerpt) this is content that is already on your post, but is not duplicated on your category and tag pages. Another place you will find duplicate content is on paginated pages (category page 1, category page 2…) because these paginated pages will contain the same meta keywords, descriptions and title as the first page.

Eliminating Duplicate Content On WordPress

Now that i have talked so much about Duplicate content I wanted to give you 5 quick things you can do to start eliminating duplicate content on wordpress.

1. Robots.txt

By preventing WordPress from crawling certain pages on your site you can prevent duplicate content from being indexed by search engines. Over at WordPress they recommend the following Robots Optimization for your robots.txt file (and it’s what I use):

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin
Disallow: /wp-admin
Disallow: /wp-includes
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins
Disallow: /wp-content/cache
Disallow: /wp-content/themes
Disallow: /trackback
Disallow: /feed
Disallow: /comments
Disallow: /category/*/*
Disallow: */trackback
Disallow: */feed
Disallow: */comments
Disallow: /*?*
Disallow: /*?
Allow: /wp-content/uploads

# Google Image
User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Allow: /*

# Google AdSense
User-agent: Mediapartners-Google*
Allow: /*

# digg mirror
User-agent: duggmirror
Disallow: /


2. NoIndex On Paginated Pages

You can add noindex to paginated pages so that they will not be indexed by search engines and thus you can have all the duplicate content you want on them. To do so, simply add the following code within the <head> tags of your header.php template.

<?php if ( is_paged() ) { ?>
 <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow” />
 <?php } ?>

3.  Use Page Templates For Categories

One trick is to use templates for category pages so you can add text to these pages along with the url, keyword, and meta description you want. Use the basic code below to show posts from a specific category.

 <?php query_posts(’showposts=5&cat=1′); ?>
 <?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
 //Your Loop Here
 <?php endwhile;?>

4. Use Meta Descriptions as Excerpts

Rather then allowing WordPress to use the beginning of your posts as the excerpt you can write up your own excerpt by using the excerpt field while creating posts. If you want to make your life easy like me just cut and paste your unique meta description into this field.

5. Write Your Own Content

Ok, so this isn’t related to WordPress but it is related to SEO in General and it does related to Duplicate Content in regards to other websites. If you want to rank well make sure that all the content on your site is unique to your site and that you have not simply copy and pasted someone else’s posts. Not only is this the ethical thing to do, but it will help you in terms of Search Engine Optimization.

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