Are Wordpress tags the death of me? Duplicate Content Question

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I've noticed that one of my sites has taken a dive in terms of organic traffic from Google and I'm starting to believe that the use of Wordpress tags may be giving me some issues with duplicate content.

Allow me to break down how things look and let me know if you feel this setup creates an issue with duplicate content.

The site in question is a consumers buyers guide for Apple products. The site covers all the latest gadgets and accessories produced by Apple and for Apple producing. The post(s) provide a brief description about the product and informing people where they can buy it.

The site is setup like an old-fashion blog. On the main pages, and every for page that matter, you'll find full-length posts, no excerpts. The reader is only required to "click more" to see the additional photos.

There's 6 full-length per page.

Behind the scenes I use categories but on the site itself you'll find no categories. Instead, I use tags to organize things. I link to these tags fairly often too, for example, when talking about a set of speakers for the iPod I'll tag it with "iPod Speakers" or when discussing the iPad covers I'll link to the tag page "iPad covers".

The first page for the tag is set to follow/index while the subpages are set at follow/noindex.

Since my site displays full-length posts on the index pages and tag pages is this creating a duplicate content issue?

I would be happy to hear your opinions on this.
#search engine optimization #content #death #duplicate #question #tags #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author Abledragon
    WordPress' structure does not create duplicate content. However, you can use your noindex tags and your canonical tag to ensure the the search engines clearly know which is the primary URL for each page.

    More detail on duplicate content and WordPress:

    Duplicate Content on WordPress | WealthyDragon

    More details on using tags and categories effectively:

    Optimise WordPress with Categories and Tags | WealthyDragon

    Cheers,

    Martin.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fiddy6
      Originally Posted by Abledragon View Post

      WordPress' structure does not create duplicate content. However, you can use your noindex tags and your canonical tag to ensure the the search engines clearly know which is the primary URL for each page.
      I read both of the articles and I dunno, it just doesn't seem to add up to me.

      I understand Wordpress creates different ways to access/find posts, but wouldn't indexing the tag pages with full-length posts create duplicate content?

      I look at it this way. Please, tell me if I'm wrong.

      Google indexes 6 individual posts from my site. Great.

      They than go and index my "tag" pages, which happen to contain 6 full-length posts on each page.

      Wouldn't the "tag" page appear as duplicate content since the content listed on it, once again, in full-length form, is an exact match to content that's already indexed in the 6 individual posts?
    • Profile picture of the author WareTime
      Originally Posted by Abledragon View Post

      WordPress' structure does not create duplicate content. However, you can use your noindex tags and your canonical tag to ensure the the search engines clearly know which is the primary URL for each page.
      Then it would be damn nice if they'd deliver it, but they don't. They'll send your visitors willy nilly to any of the url's that they think "best" meets the users needs.

      Too bad you don't mention the term canonical in your article. Multiple url's for the same content is a pain in the ass. I design my sites with the visitor entering in on the url of my choosing.

      Meaning I want google to send traffic to one and only one url for a particular page of content.

      Depending on how a WP theme is laid out these "duplicate" pages, tags, categories, by date, by author, etc pages may contain full articles, summaries, or headlines of the full article. This may get a visitor to a site looking for xyz to a page, that actually doesn't serve their needs worth a hoot.

      For instance, they are looking for dog training and instead of the nice article on dog training a category page comes up with a link to the dog training page. The visitor now has to visit my site and then realize the page they were sent to is not answering their question, so they need to click another page. Many times they bail. Then google thinks your site isn't sticky enough, bounce rate too high, may as well not rank the page as high as it didn't meet the needs of the visitor so why give them as high of paying adsense ads when we can give those to a site with a lower bounce rate. That's the progression you set yourself up for by not controlling your urls in the search engines.

      At the very least if you use WP, get a plugin that keeps those other "duplicate" pages from appearing in the serps.

      Yes Google knows how to deal with WP and it's "duplicate" content. That doesn't mean they send your visitors to the page you want. You need to take action if you want that to happen.

      Make sure their is only one url for any one piece of content. My way is to develop static sites. They are faster to load to in most cases. Otherwise use a plugin to cutdown on the brain deadery of WP.

      There is no pentalty for this "duplicate" content. The only "penalty" is that google might send your visitor to a page that isn't the one you want them to use.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    I get all my pages in the SERPs, if your pages are setup correct then Tags (& categories) are not a problem.

    Are you showing the entire article/post on the Tag page also?
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    • Profile picture of the author Fiddy6
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I get all my pages in the SERPs, if your pages are setup correct then Tags (& categories) are not a problem.

      Are you showing the entire article/post on the Tag page also?
      Yes, I am. That's why I worry that I may be getting hit with a duplicate content penalty here.
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Also check out the free seo wp-plugin in my sig.
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