Reducing Duplicate Content on WordPress Blogs

By Daniel Scocco

Last Monday we missed the video post, but this week it is here. The topic of the day is duplicate content, its definition and how you can reduce its occurrence on WordPress blogs.

I tried to use the .wmv format to reduce the size of the file, but the quality suffered a bit. Next week we will be back with .avi.

Here is a quick summary:

  • Duplicate content refers to two or more web pages that have the same, or almost the same, content.
  • Those two or more pages can be located on different or on the same website, so you can have duplicate content inside your blog also.
  • Most of the times it is a good idea to avoid duplicate content since search engines might penalize it.
  • WordPress themes (this is fault of the designers and not of the WordPress software itself) tend to come with a lot of duplicate content out of the box.
  • Apart from the homepage, it is a good idea to check your categories and archive pages to see whether full posts are being displayed there or not
  • Remember that your goal is to make sure that your posts or articles can accessed in full from only one location inside your site.

The plugin that I mentioned is the homepage excerpts one. Finally, if you can’t see the video player, here is the YouTube link: Daily Blog Tips – Duplicate Content.




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47 Responses to “Reducing Duplicate Content on WordPress Blogs”

  • Edward Lomax

    There is a lot of different information about duplicate content out there, so it can get confusing.

    I never thought about the duplicate content automatically generated by WordPress blogs before… so this was very helpful and I’m going to check my blogs today and make any necessary changes.

    Thanks.

  • team ray

    i like these how to videos

    good breakdown

  • SATISH

    Thanks for these tips.

    My blog is still new and will be implementing it soon.

  • Mani Karthik

    Good video Daniel.

  • TechnoDiary.com

    Putting – NoIndex, Follow – on archived pages also helps. I did the same on category pages too. But, some blogs get good traffic on categorized pages, noindexing is not recommended in those cases.

    ~Sahil

  • Adam Singer

    Jill Whalen wrote a guest post on TopRankBlog today (@ http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/06/ses-toronto-seo-donts-myths-and-scams/)

    What do you think about that she wrote that “Duplicate content will get your site penalized” under the myths section?

    I always thought duplicate content was a no-no…

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Adam, I am not sure. If Google takes the time to write a specific page about something, I will sure take the time to read and follow what they say there 🙂 .

  • MyBlogStore

    Duplicate content…turns people off fast

  • Rick

    Do you mean we should use the default excerpt or create an excerpt with each post? If it’s the former than why not use the_content() with the tag instead? One problem with the default excerpt is that it takes the first 55 words but excludes images. (In my case the images are LaTex formulas that are essential for the default excerpt to make sense.)

  • Rick

    correction: prior comment should have said “with the MORE tag instead?”

  • Kaspars

    There is no need to show only excerpts (which are also in fact duplicate content, but only a paragraph or two long) on archive pages, if you use the noindex, follow meta tag in those pages.

    Put this PHP fragment in your header.php file just after the title tag:

    <?php if (is_archive()) : ?><meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" /><?php endif; ?>

    It will tell the search engines to follow the links, but to not save them in the search index. is_archive() is a WordPress function that returns true only if an archive page (by date, category or tag) is being viewed.

  • Supermance

    very useful video, thx for this Daniel 🙂

  • WordPress Online

    Yes, the quality of the video is a little bad, but enough. Thank you for the nice video 🙂

  • Melvin

    thanks for the youtube link… i haven’t heard of home excerpts!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Rick, you have the optional excerpt field also where you can copy and paste the text, pictures or video that you wanted displayed as excerpt on the homepage and other pages.

    That is what I use, and the one I think is the the most flexible.

  • Locjan

    so do you have tips to convert a duplicate content to unique content? how about a tool that can change a grammar like transtool

  • Blogging Skills

    Hello Daniel!
    Great info, I’m a first-time visitor and I’ll be back for more…

    All the best from Thailand

    axel g

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    I use full posts on all my pages, but I also use robots.txt file. I guess both ways work

  • Wayne

    Great post and I have a follow up question you may be able to answer for me. I have a blog that has been active only a couple months. It’s a real estate blog that sits on the website of a television station. I have recently started a new website with a WordPress blog attached to it. I was hoping to pretty much duplicate what I do on the television-based blog onto the WordPress blog. Is that a bad idea altogether?

    Thanks so much for your help…

  • Dennis Edell

    I use the all-in-one seo plugin…a simple tick box (3 actually) for no index or categories, archives, tag archives.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Wayne, I will answer to it on Friday.

  • Kathie Thomas, A Clayton’s Secretary

    I wonder how that affects all those article submission sites? And then people using the same articles the world over for ezines, newsletters, blog feeds, etc?

  • Taryn Merrick

    Thank you for this. I am planning 2 different blogs for different aspects of my Virtual Assistant business. Thanks to this I will safeguard it against duplicate content…

  • tmdes

    E’ stata una buona lettura, degli ottimi accorgimenti!

  • Zath

    I really do think about this quite a lot with regard to my blog – I have all my archive/tag/category pages showing only excerpts, however once or twice a week I syndicate an entire post from another site (which also goes onto other sites too) – do you think this risks harming my overall site rankings? Or just that particular page?

    I always try to put my own commentary at the beginning to introduce the syndicated post to try and make it a little more unique – I’d be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on this one? – an example would be http://www.zath.co.uk/family-gamer-controlling-your-emotions/

    Any feedback would be much appreciated on this one. Should I adding these as exclusions on my robots.txt?

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Kathie, it wont do you any good if you use those articles on your blog. If you plan to do article marketing, therefore, write stuff specifically for that purpose.

    @Zath, I think this is not a big issue, and should only hurt the rankings of that particular page.

  • Kathie Thomas, A Clayton’s Secretary

    I wasn’t saying I use the same articles for my blogs but I was trying to point out that people write articles and submit them to article submission sites and those articles are used over and over again. So does this same ruling apply to those or does it only apply to blogs? I write different articles for my blogs but there have been times I’ve revamped an article to submit it for an online publication.

  • Franco

    I personally think allot of this is just scare mongering by Google. I make sure most articles/blogs I post are initially posted/dated on my website. I have no control what is posted on blogs etc., all over the internet and I cannot see Google penalizing me for someone duplicating my content.

    Same principle with writing an article it going viral. Do you think you should be penalized because everyone is quoting your article or because it has been syndicated by allot of people? Should I be penalized for submitting an article to Feedburner for example?

    It just doesn’t make sense. So If I have a blog registered under Joe Blow and I write the same content I did on my website do you think Google know this is my own personal stuff? Do you think Google goes into “Whois” and checks out who wrote this article? The Key here is that when you post articles on your blogs just change the title heading or put it in quotation marks.

    For example, I saw an article the other day where a blogger wrote, “bla bla bla.” Now this could be the exact content but only in quotation marks. Do you think the blogger who wrote the original article is going to get penalized for this?

    If you are still not convinced put in the “more” tag along with the quotation marks. Relax people and don’t get caught up in all this scare mongering.

  • korea sem company

    Thank you for this nice video. When ever I use no follow meta tag in header .php , whole code start appearing on the top of my home page.?

  • Bill

    Duplicate content is certainly a reality, there is no myth or hype here. In my experience blogs under 30 pages or posts should eliminate the need to have archives. This plays out much better as it eliminates the need to search engine spiders to crawl stuff that is really hard to find.

  • orlando

    Should i also xclude tag pages from being crawled? Why? I excluded catergory pages and archives, but was not sure about tag pages.

  • Yashni Marad

    I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case. I’ve been experiencing this very same problem with a new WordPress installation of mine. I’ve spent weeks calibrating and getting it ready when all of a sudden… I cannot delete any content. It’s a workaround that, although isn’t perfect, does the trick so thanks! I really hope this problem gets solved properly asap.

  • Johns

    Good video Daniel.

  • Michael

    I’ve got a huge problem with my site and am not sure how to deal with it especially when considering the duplicate content issue. My site is basically a directory of business listings indexed using categories. I had recently converted my static html site to wordpress and was initially elated with the end result. However within in a couple of weeks, all my previously high ranking pages essentially disappeared from Google. It was just in the last day or two that I finally realized why. My category pages, on which I based my site, were carrying the meta-tag, “noindex, follow”. HOLY CRAP. Now I know why Google dropped my site for the most part.

    How do I fix this? Should I change my category pages to “index,follow” and make individual posts “noindex, follow” ? I think in the case of my directory site, it’s more important that the category page be indexed rather than the individual posts.

    Sure could use some help from the real experts.

  • Introspective

    Should I stop publish my articles on article directories? I used to publish my articles, but now I wander should I stop doing this, because the risk of duplicate content penalty.

  • medyum

    good video
    nice post
    thank you very much

  • Keith Davis

    Home page exerts plugin plus change content to excerpt in archives.php… so easy when you know how.

    Thanks for making it so simple!

  • izdelava spletnih strani

    In these times were social sites, twitter, facebook and stuff are taking over the net, it’s hard to tell what’s duplicate content. If someone bookmarks my post on digg, mixx, delicious and other how can i prevent that my ‘duplicate content’ is being distributed over the internet and harm my true content and web page? In my opinion search engines doesn’t really put so much attention to duplicate content cos it really can’t detect what is true and what is duplicate.

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