From August 2009

More on Duplicate Pages for SEO Success

Here something else to think about and take your duplicate page avoidance to the next level. (Be sure to read the previous post regarding duplicate pages first.)  Even after incorporating the tips from the previous post, there is still a bit of overlap between content on the home page, the categories/tag/archive pages and post pages.  When you publish a post, that content will appear on the home and category/tag/archive until it is rotated out by newer posts.  So, there is still some duplicate content to address.

A trick to solving this is to truncate posts when they are on aggregate pages.  Limit the amount of content displayed and add a “read more” link to take them to the full page.  There are actually two benefits to this.  First, you are cutting down on duplicate content (woohoo!).  Second, you’ll get a better sense of how many people are reading all the way through your posts via click stats.  (You have some sort of stat plugin installed, right?  I prefer WordPress.com Stats myself.)

But wait, there’s more.  We can minimize even more!  We can use “The Excerpt” box on the post page to write tailor-made summaries of our posts.  Rather than just using a truncated portion of the post, as mentioned above, we write a separate excerpt to create even more content for our sites rife with even more delicious keyword-rich content.

To display the Excerpt in lieu of the Content on the post, dig into your theme’s archive, search and home pages and replace the the_content() call for the_excerpt().  Don’t for get to include a link to the whole story!  Something like this will do:

<?php the_excerpt(); _e(‘<p><a href=”‘.get_permalink().'”>Continue reading about ‘); the_title(); _e(‘</a></p>’);  ?>

There are many ways to go about putting The Excerpt into our sites, but I won’t go into that now.  I mainly wanted to get you thinking about the concept of The Excerpt in general.

Happy Blogging!

Avoid Duplicate Pages for SEO Success

If you are interested in improving your search engine rankings, this one is for you.  One of the criteria Google and other website index engines will ding a site on is duplicate content.  The trouble is, with WordPress, many of us are duplicating content without even knowing it.  But the good news is, there’s an easy fix.

The issue stems from the many, many ways WordPress allows the reader to access a particular page.  Let’s say we innocently publish a simple post call “Innocent Simple Post.”  In doing so, we’ve likely created several different possible URLs:

http://www.yoursite.com/archive/innocent-simple-post

http://www.yoursite.com/tag/innocent-simple-post

http://www.yoursite.com/category/innocent-simple-post

Of course, this depends on how your WordPress is configured, but you get the idea.  Google and other search engines will see several distinct URLs, but each with the exact same content.  Then the power of one page is distributed over three pages.  Better to have one strong page, then several weak pages.  Essentially, all we need to do is tell Google and the others to chill out and only index one page.

First, if you are not already running the All-In-One-SEO plug-in on your site, get it and install it directly.  (This is one of those core plug-ins, no blogger should be without.)  Second, let’s tell Google and the others to knock off all the silliness.  Log into your WordPress admin, click on Settings, then click “All in One SEO.”  Near the bottom of the page there are some checkboxes for “Use noindex for Categories,” “Use noindex for Archives” and “Use noindex for Tag Archives.”  Checking one of those will tell site crawlers and spiders to ignore pages under each respective umbrella.  Pick two of those three boxes and check them.  Personally, I’d say leave “categories” in there as that is the most valuable keyword of the bunch, but there is some debate on that.  Now “Innocent Simple Post” will only be indexed once and its content will be deemed more valuable than it would have had it been distributed between “three” pages.