This post is all about duplicate content on your blog, how this affects WordPress SEO, what it is and how to avoid it. It comes from a question posed to me by my good friend Guy Tomlinson over at SEO Copilot:
If you have a blogfeed I know you can make posts show on other pages too as they are dynamic and placable. My question is will this cause duplicate content issues?
What about if you had a blogfeed page could you make the post only show in a sidebar of a page and not in the main feed?
This is my reply:
It?s all down to categories
You can categorise and sub categorise posts, and then define where the posts appear.
So you have a category called ?SEO? and a child category called ?Local SEO?.
On the main blog feed page articles from the sub category ?Local SEO? will appear because they also have a category of SEO.
The main blog page could be no follow no index as it will show snippets of content that could be seen as duplicate content.
The article pages with the actual content on will show the titles of other posts in the side bar, so the pages can be optimised but no risk of duplicate content. The titles will be links so this should add some value to the site from an SEO perspective too.
We can build templates that show only certain categories in any location, e.g. main body, sidebars etc.
Does that make sense?
Duplicate Content is a big no-no in WordPress SEO these days. The concept is relatively simple.
If a piece of writing appears in more than one place on the internet, search engines get confused as to which piece to give priority to. A search engine will rarely show results for duplicate pieces, so one page will rank, and everything else will be discarded. That is the reason why you cannot copy and paste other people’s content on to your own website (aside from it just being plain lousy, lazy and unprofessional). However, you may be unintentionally producing duplicate content on your own website or blog, here’s how…
You undoubtably have a blog (don’t you?) on your website, and if your site runs as most do, you will have a page or pages that display your posts as excerpts for people to browse and choose what to read. These archives show probably the first 100 – 200 words from your blog posts, which appear on their own pages. So that means you have the same content in two place – uh-oh, that sounds like duplicate content to me, and will confuse the search engines. You want your post to be the page that is found, you’ve carefully written and optimised it for that purpose. But if the blog feed page is the page that ranks, pushing your actual page out of the rankings, you’ve got a problem.
Blog feeds are the culprits for creating duplicate content. Here’s a screenshot of my front page, where you can see my blog feed showing a snippet of this post. So the first few lines of text appear in two places, on the frontpage of my blog and then on the post itself. Duplicate content hell!
I personally use WordPress SEO by Yoast, which allows me to prevent search engines indexing certain pages on my site. So if I tell it not to index my home page and let it index all of my other pages, then there will be no duplicate content issues.
Alternatively you may run a theme that allows you post what’s called a ‘Custom Teaser’. This means that where the blog post appears in a feed, different content will be displayed. This is only OK as long as you only have one static feed.