WordPress Categories Causing Duplicate Content

by Dev Duff on June 22, 2009

Today I discovered wordpress categories causing duplicate content while I was playing with the wordpress category base. I was tweaking settings on my wordpress blog and stumbled across something interesting that took my attention for the next hour. I’m sure, others may have discovered this content duplication issue earlier.

I have always wanted to use the category feature in order to produce a Silo Design on my wordpress blog/website. A proper category structure always helps ranking better on search engines. Rather than posting all posts on the top level, it is better to have URLs displaying posts in proper categories.


Recently, I searched around to find a solution to remove the ‘category’ from my category page URLs, however, I was unsuccessful in finding any help. One reason why I wish to remove ‘category’ from my URLs is that I want to have better looking Category Page URLs. For eg:

instead of ..

WordPress by default set the category base to display ‘category’ in the URLs. And this is the reason why there is heavy content duplication on Category Pages. Have you ever checked these two URLs?

and ..

You will be amazed to find that both these URLs open the same document. Bingo! Content Duplication. There is a fine way for overcoming this problem. Redirection through .htaccess is your best bet. All you need to do is add a line of code to your .htaccess and avoid this un-necessary content duplication. I’m pasting my .htaccess content below to make it easy for you to tweak your .htaccess file.

Options +FollowSymLinks

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^category/(.+)$ http://www.devduff.com/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

You would have almost same content in your .htaccess file, unless you have added anything to it manually. I have just added one line to it:

RewriteRule ^category/(.+)$ http://www.devduff.com/$1 [R=301,L]

This line will redirect permanently all requests from URL: http://www.devduff.com/category/somecategory to the URL: http://www.devduff.com/somecategory. This is definitely going to resolve wordpress categories duplicate content issue.

If you have any better tips to resolve the ‘wordpress category’ issue, please feel free to post a comment below. You can explore other wordpress tutorials that may interest you or help you in one way or the other.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Keir

It’s crazy the ammount of duplicate taxonomy some people have on their blogs. I still see people that have links to the category, date, tags, home subpages and author archives for 1 author blogs.

Obviously it adds nothing to aid site navigation, and what a mess!



Hi, I’m trying to make a change in wordpress 3.0.3
I want category/parent/sub to always be the url;
I want category/sub to redirect to the url structure of category/parent/sub
Any ideas? Thanks


Jayson Tamayo

How about duplicates generated by dates? e.g. 2011/10 and the like? Please email me your answer. Thanks.

Nice post.


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