Avoiding Duplicate Content

One way to get traffic to your website is through search engines. The ideal is to have your site appear at the top of the search results, or near to it, when a search is done for the key words related to your site. So it is important that we don’t do something to cause the search engines to penalise our sites, and make our ranking way down in the list.

This means we should be aware of what search engines don’t like. One of the things you can get punished for, is having a lot of duplicate content at your site. This must be avoided if you want to have any chance of getting a nice page rank.

Now if you build your site using something like WordPress, you could easily find yourself inadvertently duplicating content multiple times over. This is because it is easy to have different links (or URLs) to one particular post. For eg. if you post something to multiple categories, then you will have different links for each category. This is also a problem for archived posts, and your tags could potentially be a problem too.

So what to do about this?

In the case of posting to multiple categories, you can alleviate the problem by showing only excerpts on the category pages, and by ensuring that none of your category pages have all or most of the same posts listed.

The solution really though is to include some meta code in the header of your pages, to specify “noindex, follow”. So in your header you’d include:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">

The “noindex” part of this tells the search engine not to index your page, so if you have duplicate content there, it won’t be counted against you. The “follow” part tells the search engine you still want the links on this page to count towards page ranking. There is a “nofollow” option that would say you don’t want any of the links on this page to contribute to the page rankings for the targets of these links.

If you’re using WordPress, this can easily be done by just modifying your header.php file to include code like the following:

<?php if(is_home() ¦¦ is_single() ¦¦ is_page()){
echo ‘<meta name=”robots”
} else {
echo ‘<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow”>’;

If you’re averse to tampering with the code yourself, an alternative, and attractive option is to simply install the All in one SEO plugin. When you do that, you can specify “noindex, follow” for categories, archives, and tags.

Oh, in case you’ve also installed the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, you’d want to see that categories (probably), archives and tags are not included in the generated sitemap. (You can specify this in the plugin options).

If you have other suggestions, please do comment!


Related posts:

  1. Building Web Traffic -the importance of incoming links
  2. Introduction To DoFollow and NoFollow
  3. Building Web Traffic -Getting backlinks
  4. Unique Web Traffic To Your Website -You can get it!
  5. How to Check For NoFollow/DoFollow

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