WordPress SEO Tune-Up – Lesson #1

Is Your WordPress Website
Creating Duplicate Content
Behind Your Back?

One of the most important and frequently overlooked elements of WordPress SEO is making sure you plug all of the duplicate content holes WordPress can unknowingly create.

For those who are just getting up to speed, here is how Google defines duplicate content:


NOTE: For the purpose of this lesson we are addressing duplicate content within a domain.

Now I am not going to debate how much of an impact too much duplicate content can have on your rankings because that dead horse has been flogged enough.

Instead I want to show you how WordPress could be unknowingly creating duplicate content penalties and how you can fix it using a FREE plugin.

And remember, this lesson isn’t about the on-site component of WordPress SEO; we will cover that in the next lesson. This lesson is about fixing the structural issues and preventing accidental duplicate content.

3 Ways WordPress Can Accidently Create Duplicate Content

First off let me state that this is NOT about issues caused by manually copying and posting the same content on different pages around your site without using rel=”canonical” tags OR not setting your preferred domain in Google Webmaster Tools.

The following is a list of WordPress ‘features’ that can cause duplicate content penalties straight out of the box.

In other words these are the proverbial holes in your WordPress SEO boat that you should plug BEFORE you set sail.

#1 WordPress’ Taxonomies

If you are like 98% of the human population who have no idea what a “taxonomy” is, it really just means a “way to group things together” or a “grouping mechanism”(welcome to the other 2%).

WordPress comes with a few default taxonomies that include:

  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Link Category

Many themes, widgets and plugins create additional custom taxonomies with a few of the more common ones being “Author” and “Date,” and as handy as these taxonomies can be, they can also create numerous duplicate content issues.

#2 WordPress’ Comment Pagination

In WordPress you can have the option to only show a certain number of comments on a given page, at which point the comments paginate, in turn creating multiple versions of the same article with different comments.

#3 WordPress’ ReplyToCom Parameter

If you’ve set up your WordPress blog so that you can reply to other comments, this could be creating duplicate content each time a new comment is left on your page, by applying a URL parameter that Google does not seem to have the common sense to ignore.

Now for those of you who are a little more ‘techie’, what I just said may make perfect sense, But for those of you who are more ‘visual learners’ let’s watch this quick video I made that actually demonstrates these problems…

After watching this video, you should have a pretty solid understanding of the problems we’re up against. So now let’s move on to the solution…

The Best Plugin For WordPress SEO

Over the past few years I’ve tried pretty much all of the best free and paid WordPress SEO plugins including All-In-One-SEO,  Platinum SEO, and SEO Ultimate and without a doubt my absolute favorite is WordPress SEO By Yoast.

In fact, out of all of the WordPress SEO plugins that have been around for a while, WordPress SEO By Yoast is the only one that has almost a five star rating after over 2.6 million downloads. That really says a lot!

Then in September 2012 WooThemes,  arguably the #1 developer of premium WordPress themes, actually removed their own WordPress SEO framework and began recommending Yoast because it was just better.

Yet another HUGE endorsement for Yoast.

Now in this lesson I am not going to get into every nitty-gritty feature of Yoast. Instead, I want to show you how to use this plugin to quickly eliminate these accidental sources of duplicate content…

So hopefully I’ve helped you cut through confusion and given you a better understanding of WordPress SEO and how to avoid duplicate content.

If you have ANY thoughts or tips you would like to share, I would love to hear them… just leave a comment below.

And remember this is just the in for WordPress Op. In the next lesson I am going to be sharing my favorite WordPress tools and plugins for taking the guesswork out of on-page optimization.

To make sure you don’t miss out take a second to opt-in to my “Weekly Internet Marketing Update” in the sidebar!

To your online success…

Derek Gehl


  1. Clearly explained. I followed ur suggestions.Useful for beginners like me. Thanx for sharing . 🙂

  2. Thomas

    Great Derek.
    It would be great to have a quick step through sheet or checklist as a reminder.
    Thanks for the videos.

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