Permalink contribution for duplicate content


We have heard of people copying our content and lot has been discussed about how to fight against it.
But today we are going to see, how our own blog will be penalized for having the same content accessible from two different URL of the same blog.

For example, if you are showing the full content of your post in all the locations like, Homepage, Archives page, and in single content page(single.php), then there is all possibility of Search Engines thinking that these contents are duplicate. Thus there is a high chances of getting penalized.

Daniel Scocco has a nice video to illustrate this concept. So take a look, before we deal with the permalinks contribution for creating duplicate content.

That was a very informative video.

Today lets take a look at some other ways, from which your wordpress website may get penalized for having duplicate contents.

This applies for those people who are using the permalink structure which includes “Categories” ( /%category%/ ).

Previously I had this permalink structure. I had thought that, having the category name in the URL would help the search engines, as they might consider it as a keyword to that article.

But later I realized that, there is a huge drawback from using such permalink structure. I realized this, when I typed the URL of one of my article wrongly and was still able to access that article.

I had an article at and I had typed the URL wrongly as , but to my astonishment, the article just showed up. With confusion in my mind, I just had a quick search in Google, to see that the wrong URL was also indexed. Now I really started worrying, if all other posts had the same problem. So searched again for other posts, but everything was OK with other posts. Then why this problem with ?

I just went to my wordpress Dashboard and saw that I had got a link back to the wrong URL from some blog and Google had indexed it(as the article was accessible at that wrong URL, so no fault of Google here).

Now I continued the search, and saw some other blogs using the permalink structure similar to my blog. Now I just changed the Category name and tried to access their posts, to my wonder, they were also accessible. And many of those sites did not have the nofollow or noindex in their category section. Thus, those sites are in danger, of getting penalized.

If you are also using the permalink structure then just change the “categories” name to any name you like(it may be anything that exists or not exists in your category list) and hit enter. You will still be able to access the article.

This can be solved
1. By having the permalink structure .
2. Redirect it to the original post.

Changing the permalink of your blog.
Just change the file permission of .htaccess and index.php files in the root directory to 666.
And then login to your wordpress account and click on settings then on Permalinks option and now select Custom Structure and put /%postname%/ and finally click on Save Changes button. This will make your permalink structure as .

And redirecting the URL to original URL can be done by a number of plugins out there. Just click here to have a look.

Note: As all those articles are placed in one or the other categories, introducing the nofollow or noindex to your categories section will make the article inaccessible to search engines and finally you will end up with no search engine traffic.

I have heard most of the times that, many blogs have good page ranking in the beginning, but after sometime those rankings will drop and will keep on dropping with time. This is because as time goes and your number of posts increases, the number of duplicate contents are also increased. Thus, search engines penalize your page ranking over time.

The final thing to be kept in mind is that, always remember that your goal is to make sure that your posts or articles can be accessed in full from only one location inside your site.

Following these simple and effective tips will surly yield good results in the long run.

What do you think about duplicate contents.Have you also encountered with the same problem? And do you have any other solution for this kind of problems? or have you encountered any similar problems? please share it with us, in the comment section.

27 thoughts on “Permalink contribution for duplicate content”

  1. This is quite informative. I would have had this problem if not for a fellow blogger that adviced me to use the permalink structure you suggested above. As far as Google is concerned, ignorance is no excuse, duplicate content still gets penalized. Thanks for sharing this tip. Cheers.

  2. Excellent Satish.Great tips but you havent mentioned about the static page structure.What should we do about the “pages”? they arent showing when i tried your tip.

    Anyways thanks and keep posting great articles like these

  3. @Samsara, thanks for Digging the article.It really motivated me to write.

    @Kevin Paquet, nice plugin.It is advisable to use that plugin, as it uses 301 redirection.301 redirection is said to be Search Engine friendly.

    @Amit, I think this applies only to the dynamic pages.And I have tried it only with wordpress.

  4. @Stagueve, yes I agree with you. So only I have not put excerpt in my archives page ( ).
    But I don’t think its an issue, if you are showing 10 posts excerpt in your homepage and 25 post excerpt in your archives page(before next or previous post navigation links). By this way no 2 pages in your blog would be similar, so not a major problem.

    And it would be better to show only links to your articles in archives, so that your visitors can easily search for posts that they are looking for. This would reduce the number of clicks, by showing all the links to your older posts, rather than navigate using next and previous links.

  5. “your visitors can easily search for posts that they are looking for. This would reduce the number of clicks”

    By the way i try to increase the number of clicks (more click = more views)…

    PS: Thanxxx for your tips 😉

  6. Hello! I hope you can help me on this…
    My permalink structure is /%category%/%postname%/.
    I assign one category to every post. Recently, I have changed a category name. The links works ok, but if you access the old link ( it still works. 🙁
    Webmaster tools tells me that I have duplicate content… Technically, the page with the old category name shouldn’t exist…
    What can I do?

    Thank you,

  7. @Nicholas, yes, this is what I have told in the above article. Thats a problem with /%category%/%postname%/ permalink structure.
    Please read the article again and according to the article, your posts should be accessible when you type anything in the place of your category name in the URL.
    Better change the permalink structure first.

  8. Hello again. This is what I was thinking of. I want to leave the /category postname/ structure, and what I did was a 301 redirect from the old posts to the new ones. What do you think?


  9. @Nicholas, Redirecting is a good idea. But to how much files will you apply that redirection?
    You just access these URLs




    Now you can observe that, your article is accessible in all those different URLs. And you can’t apply redirection to all these endless links to the new link!

    So changing the permalink would be the best way according to can checkout .

    And if you still stick to your idea of redirection, then this plugin may also help you.

    And Google Webmaster tool, shows duplicate content until the next time Google boots crawl your articles again. Just take care yourself(manually), that, your articles are not accessible from more than “one” place inside your blog/website.

  10. You realize that you just got me duplicate content by posting those links, right? 🙂
    Ok, I will change the permalink to /post-name/, but will the old link be directed to my new links?

    Thank you for your help.

  11. guess my plugin “Platinum SEO Pack” will be a perfect fit for this article.It help you deal with duplicate content and it also automatically handles permalink redirects. All you need to do is just change the permalink and Platinum SEO will take care of doing the redirect.

  12. Recommend using my Aussie compatriot’s wonderful “ylsy_permalink_redirect” plug-in to solve the potential for any duplicate content. It certainly has worked like a charm on the one Marketing blog I’ve used it on.. without any conflicts.. and all tests I have done, have unfailingly redirected all versions of a link to the Permalink.

    There was also no conflict with the other PL plug in I currently use to change my entire PL structure on the same site which is nearly 5 years old.. namely.. Dean’s Permalink Migration Plug-in.

    So they must be a Permalink plug-in match made in heaven!

    Sorry Daniel – don’t agree with your view that it is not good SEO practice to use the Permalink structure /category/post. Most SEOs think differently.

  13. @Balaji, Yes you can make it un-accessible by using robot.txt file and there are many such ways, but with the introduction of “canonical tag”, most of the internal duplicate content issues has been solved.

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