Duplicate Content: How to Banish It From Your Site Forever

A couple of days ago I stumbled across the Problogger podcast with Darren Rowse. I followed Problogger in the past, but in the past couple of years visited the site intermittently – to the point that I didn’t even know they had a podcast.

I’m so glad I “rediscovered” them. With a new, completely redesigned website and blog, I’m quickly becoming a fan once again.

I listened to several podcast episodes, but one, in particular, had me taking immediate action!It was Episode 94, “5 Mistakes Bloggers Make with SEO and What To Do About Them.” If you don’t subscribe I highly recommend it and be sure to make Episode 94 your first stop.

So, what was the tip that spurred me to action. Actually, it was the very first one – make sure your site isn’t accidentally “leaking” duplicate content. Google does not like duplicate content. And while that’s true, having a few issues here and there isn’t going to condemn you to Google purgatory.

The problem is, that when Google crawls your site it may discover your content in a several different ways — through your posts, archives, categories tags and more. Though unintentional, Google bots could conclude that you have duplicate content. But, here's how you can tighten your SEO with just a few minutes of work and avoid the problem completely.

How to Discover If You Have Duplicate Content

First, to find out if you if you have any duplicate content issue, do the following:

  • Head over to Google and do a search on your site with the following query: site:yoursitename.com.
  • Review the results. You should have approximately the same of number search results as you have pages and posts on your site (excluding indexed images). It doesn’t have to be exact. Being in the ballpark is good enough.
  • If you have a lot of duplicate entries check to see if Google is indexing your archives, categories, and tags. If it is, then you are producing unnecessary duplicate content.

To my surprise, I found that Google was indexing my archives, categories, and tags. Fortunately, there is a quick and easy fix to solve the problem.

How to Remove Duplicate Content From Your Site

So how do you make sure Google isn’t indexing your archives, categories, and tags? Log into your site and make sure you have an SEO plugin like SEO by Yoast or All-In-One SEO Pack. If you don’t have one, stop and install it immediately. I use and recommend SEO by Yoast.

Since I use Yoast, I’ll walk you through the settings you need to rid yourself of 99% of your duplicate content:

Step 1 – Go to SEO > Titles and Metas > Taxonomies:

Yoast SEO Categories and Tag Settings

Step 2 – Go to SEO > Titles and Metas > Archives:

Yoast SEO Archive Settings

Step 3 – Go to SEO > XML Sitemap > Taxonomies:

Yoast SEO XML Sitemaps Settings

Step 4 – (If you run a single-author blog): Go to SEO > Titles and Metas > Archives:

Yoast SEO Author Archive Settings


That’s it! If you use the All-in-One SEO pack you should find similar settings.

For more SEO goodness listen to the entire podcast for more great tips. The episode runs 40 minutes but is well work the investment. Before you go . . .

Take Action Now!

Head over to Google to check your site!

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