Insights

Do Blog Tags Create Duplicate Content?

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

There’s been a lot of SEO talk lately addressing the problems caused by duplicate content. This has been a long standing issue when it comes to meta titles and descriptions, but now it appears that this issue extends to blog tags as well.

How do blog tags affect SEO?

These little tags that helped to make it easy for your blog readers to find similar posts, can now be seriously damaging your SEO rankings. Why is this happening? To put it very simply, category and tag pages usually contain excerpts of the post, which will create duplicate content – something that Google marks as a big no-no.
Duplicate content can seriously affect the amount of traffic your website sees, as you’ll be penalised by Google for it. When you use blog tags, that piece of content can be accessed by several different URLs for example:
http://www.domain.com/your-post
http://www.domain.com/tag/your-post
http://www.domain.com/category/your-post
In addition to the http://domain.com links of each – that’s SIX pieces of duplicate content you’ve accidentally created just with one post!

OK, so how can I fix this?

There are lots of different ways to fix the problem of duplicate content caused by blog tags. One of the ways is by introducing a NOINDEX meta tag. This means that search engine crawlers will follow internal and external links on the tag pages, but will not include the actual content in their search index.
Manually removing blog tags is another way to get rid of these duplicate pages, as if these pages don’t link to your content then the issue ceases to exist. Depending on how long your site has been running for and how many tagged posts you’ve created, this can either be very simple or incredibly long winded.
Use a plugin! WordPress is phenomenal for creating solutions to problems and this duplicate content issue is no different. The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast ensures that there are no duplicate pages being indexed – if you’re already running this plugin then make sure that the options are properly enabled.

Other ways of doing this

If the above options don’t work for any reason, you can use the canonical tag to choose the URL you want to be showing in the search engine results. This points out the main page, by putting a rel=”canonical” tag in the <head> section of any pages which may have duplicate content. Then in the duplicate page you need to include <link hrf=”Main Page URL” rel=”canonical”/> which will clearly point out to search bots which page to show.
Any automatically generated pages that are not necessary can simply be redirected to the main page using 301 redirects. Unlike canonical tags, redirecting takes both search engines and users to the preferred page only, completely ignoring the duplicate page. This is a permanent solution so make sure you choose your preferred URL carefully.
If you need more help trying to fix any problems with your website’s SEO then talk to Liberty today. We have the expertise you need to overcome all of your SEO issues and get your site back to being the best it can be.

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By

Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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