I have a wordpress blog that was using categories in the url structure like this:
Then I had read somewhere that if you change it to just /post_name/ that it will automatically redirect the old to the new.
It does that, however, somehow Google Webmaster Tools is reporting both and giving us warnings about duplicate title tags, etc.
Do you have a solution for that?
I asked my friend Angela Bowman — a WordPress expert — about this and here’s what she shared…
Yes, the old links will automatically redirect to the new links, however, Google may have indexed the site with the old links, and it will take some time to re-index the site using the new links. Here are three things WordPress users should do to prevent duplicate content:
1 – Install All in One SEO Pack and check Canonical URLs and Rewrite Titles.
2 – Install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin and set the options as desired then check the sitemap for any duplicate content. (All in One SEO Pack will soon have a sitemap built in as does the Yoast SEO Plugin.)
3 – Write a robots.txt file for WordPress to prevent Google from indexing duplicate content and search results pages. This page from the WordPress codex has great resources for WordPress SEO and examples of robots.txt files for WordPress: http://codex.wordpress.org/Search_Engine_Optimization_for_WordPress
However, Yoast (whose SEO plugin includes a robots.txt editor and sitemap) has a very different take on the robots.txt particularly in regards to feeds: http://yoast.com/example-robots-txt-wordpress/
And Perishable Press has another take on the robots.txt file:
Important to note: you don’t want your robots.txt to block URLs that are in your sitemap.xml and there maybe content you don’t want to include in your sitemap.
You can test your robots.txt file in Google Webmaster Tools to makes sure the settings work as expected. Every site is different in terms of content, so what works for one user in relation to category indexing may not work for someone else.
Thank you Dave for sharing this information. I was thinking of restructuring my blog and was wondering if it affects my seo or not. Finally I got my answer and once again thanks for your help.
It seems the biggest problem in this case is 301 redirects aren’t working correctly. Try this:
Put the name back the way it was. Then install the plugin “redirection” and orininally for a minute. Next, enable 301 redirection in the control panel of the plugin. Finally, just change the name to whatever you like. That plugin will take care of redirection internally and issue a header to google informing them of the change in url’s.
That should take the webmaster tools problem away.