Surprise. Your WordPress Site Isn’t Search Engine Friendly
We have all seen the standard “WordPress SEO” articles that discuss the obvious things that you can do to optimize your WordPress blog. Most focus on optimizing titles, permalinks, meta keyword and description tags, and possibly adding a Google sitemap. All of these are important for SEO, but there is one really big one missing.
It turns out that the default WordPress site structure is extremely un-search engine-friendly. The same archives, categories, built in search, and home page paged navigation that make navigation extremely easy for people, but don’t feature any unique content at all. They usually feature excerpts of the full posts, or complete duplicate copies of the full posts in chronological order. All of these extra pages with the same content repeated again and again, dilute the value of the most important pages on the site: the posts and pages.
It turns out that this is actually a really easy problem to solve by just telling the search engine spiders not to index those pages with duplicate content by adding noindex meta tags. This can be done by modifying the header with a conditional tag to check for page type, and adding the noindex tag when needed.
I could post a tutorial, but I thought it would be nicer if I made a plugin for WordPress that does the work for you.
WordPress Duplicate Content Cure
Excluding category pages is now optional. See directions below.
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.
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">
It’s really simple, so there’s not really much more to explain.
Installing WordPress Duplicate Content Cure
1. download the plugin
2. place the file duplicate-content-cure.php in your plugins directory
3. By default, category pages will have the noindex tag added. If you wish to
allow your category paes to be indexed, just change the
$index_category_pages variable in the duplicate-content-cure.php file. See the example below:
$index_category_pages = false;
$index_category_pages = true;
4. activate it on the plugins page
That’s it. Say goodbye to those pesky duplicate content pages for good.