Is Your Blog Creating Duplicate Content without You Even Knowing It!

stop-hand-signMost bloggers know about the duplicate content penalty, and do their best to avoid placing commonly available information on their site.

But what most bloggers fail to realise is that their blog is creating duplicate content without them even knowing it.

So what is the duplicate content penalty?
The "duplicate content penalty" is a filter or penalty that is thought to be applied by search engines (such as Google, Yahoo etc) to duplicate that it deems to be a duplicate.

So the more unique your content is the better your website will perform in the search engines.
You may be saying, "that’s all fine and dandy, but I write all my own content, so I should be safe!"
Wrong!!!

Your blog might be generating duplicate content without you even knowing its happening!
Let me show you how this might be happening:

1. The same content on front/index page as well on its individual post page.
You might be showing the last X number of posts on your front page, but that same content exists on its own post pages..
Solution: To fix this, only display an excerpt on the front page for each blog post.
This can solve your problem of duplicate content on homepage.
2. Archive or Category Pages and Individual Post Pages Showing the Same Content:
Because your blog allows visitors to access information via category and date pages, it will show the same information.
For example :
www.yourblog.com/2009/07/some-post-name
www.yourblog.com/some-category/some-keyword
Serious duplicate content issue here.
Solution : Modify your robots.txt file, so that the search engines do not index certain parts of your blog.
Here's a sample robots.txt file that can help :
User-agent: *
Disallow: /*/feed/$
Disallow: /*/feed/rss/$
Disallow: /*/trackback/$
Disallow: /wp-
Disallow: /wp-content/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /trackback/
Disallow: /feed/
Disallow: /comments/
Disallow: /page/
Disallow: /date/
Disallow: /category/
Disallow: /archive/
Disallow: /rss/

3. Allowing both www and non-www version of your blog to show content:
This is a common one for a lot of bloggers.
They allow content to show for www.yourblog.com/somepost/ as well as yourblog.com/somepost/
To you and me they look like the same domain, but to a search engine, they are not.
Two separate domains, with the same content on it.
Solution: Download and install the Preference plugin:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/enforce-www-preference/

This, according to the plugin makers will do the following :
"Preference enforces your yes-www or no-www preference as defined by your Blog URL setting in 'Options - General.'
If you have http://example.com/, people who visit any WordPress-served URL staring with http://www.example.com/ will be redirected to the no-www version.
If you have http://www.example.com/, people who visit any WordPress-served URL staring with http://example.com/ will be redirected to the yes-www version.
The plugin will also strip off any hanging redundant /index.php"

4. URLS with and without Trailing Slash:
This is similar to #3, in that to us mere humans the pages look exactly the same, but to a search engine they are completely seperate.
I think the search engines are coming to grips with this, but just to be certain, lets make sure there is no confusion.

So, for example:
www.yourblog.com/somepost/ is not the same as www.yourblog.com/somepost

Solution : Again, a wordpress plugin called "Permalink Redirect WordPress Plugin" saves the day.
Get it at:
http://scott.yang.id.au/code/permalink-redirect/
5. Duplicate Content in Your Blog RSS Feeds:
This is another issue most bloggers never think of.
www.yourblog.com/2009/07/somepost/
www.yourblog.com/2009/07/somepost/feed/
A WordPress Blog post feed is a duplicate of post content, so if Google is indexing the RSS feed, it may end up putting your website pages in the supplkemental index and leave your RSS feed in the main index.
Solution:
There is a WordPress plugin that can fix this.
Get it here www.seologs.com/wordpress/wordpress-duplicate-content-cure/
According to the plugin creator it does the following :

"Duplicate content cure is a very simple, yet effective SEO plugin that prevents search engines from indexing wordpress pages that contain duplicate content, like archives and category pages.

It does this by adding the noindex,follow meta tag on the problem pages."

So, using the above blog suggestions and plugins, you can make your blog a lot more seo friendly and get a lot more pages indexed in the search engines.

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