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Duplicate Pages In Serps


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7 replies to this topic

#1 dzinerbear

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 10:05 AM

I run a Wordpress blog. In checking Google's webmaster tools, I'm seeing under "HTML improvements" that I have a number of dings or alerts for pages with duplicate titles, and when I check them they're mostly things like this:

 

/page/35

/page/35?a=stats

 

So I guess I have a number of questions:

 

1. Do I even want the "pages" indexed since the posts are already being indexed individually?

 

2. If not, how do I stop them from being indexed?

 

3. I don't even know what's causing the ?a=stats reference from showing up. How would I stop that?

 

4. Does any of this matter one single bit or is it just Google and webmaster tools being silly and worrying us unnecessarily? Doesn't Google understand how Wordpress works?

 

And my last question involves whether I should be using a plugin like All in One SEO to have better control over what gets indexed and other elements like being able to add a post description. Just read in Jill's latest email blast about writing a description tag (great post BTW), but that's not even an option in Wordpress unless you're using a plugin like All in One SEO.

 

A while ago I heard that sites using SEO plugins were getting dinged for trying to game the system; don't know if that was ever true or just the rumour mill spinning their theories and best guesses.

 

Thanks

 

 



#2 bobmeetin

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 10:31 AM

You're probably better off not having variations of the same page indexed.

 

It sounds like you have a stats plugin enabled in Wordpress. Try following the stats URLs and see where they take you as a visitor.

 

Unless you can do it through wp configuration, you could add entries in your robots.txt to prevent specific urls from being visited by obedient bots. Or you might be able to create a .htaccess rewrite rule to redirect some variation b to variation a. Not sure.

 

Say you work for Google. Do you think that you should rewrite your program to accommodate all the weird variants that thousands of programs produce? That's an IMHO.

 

I run a wordpress extension in several joomla sites and use All in One SEO. Without it you have no control over page titles and meta descriptions (to the extent that you really have control). I doubt that this makes the list of gaming the system extensions.



#3 qwerty

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 11:36 AM

You should be able to add rel-canonical to the page so that when /page/35 opens as /page/35?a=stats, it will announce that the canonical version of the page is at /page/35.



#4 bobmeetin

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 07:29 PM

I've never used rel=canonical, so I did not speak to it. I just googled it and now have it under control.

 

I use the Wordpress extension designed to run within Joomla. I looked at a post page, the basic wordpress general settings and at the All in One SEO settings but don't see anything that talks to being able to add a specific canonical link to a specific page.

 

I went to a public post page and looked at the header content and found:

 

<link href="http://mysite.com/in...php/blog?p=1456" rel="canonical" />

 

So, yes there is some canonical functionality built in, but no it's unclear if/how you might customize this on a per page basis if necessary.



#5 qwerty

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:49 AM

If the tag is being generated automatically, the thing to watch out for is whether it's just loading in the current URL. If the page were to load as index.php/blog?p=1456&src=search and the rel-canonical tag said that that was the canonical URL, it would be worthless, since announcing that different versions of a page are canonical is no better (maybe worse) than making the page available at multiple URLs without declaring any of them to be canonical.



#6 Jill

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:05 AM

 

 

A while ago I heard that sites using SEO plugins were getting dinged for trying to game the system; don't know if that was ever true or just the rumour mill spinning their theories and best guesses.
 

 

 

That's just silly. I'd stop reading whomever said such a thing. 



#7 bobmeetin

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:25 AM

silly

 

You put on your politically correct shoes again?



#8 Jill

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:50 PM

 

You put on your politically correct shoes again?

I generally wear my "nice" shoes wherever I go these days :)






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