Recently I’ve started paying more attention to Google’s Webmaster Tools. As much as I hate to admit it, they’ve been really useful in helping me track down outdated content and bad links, and really clean up search results for my site. One of the many things I had kept putting off for this site was removing duplicate content — in my case, posts with duplicate titles and descriptions.
Google is known for ‘punishing‘ websites with lower rank for this. Donna Fontenot touched on this in her “SEO For WordPress” presentation at WordCamp Birmingham earlier this month. She had displayed some examples for nuking duplicate content search results by modifying your header’s meta robots, title, and description tags.
As you can see, my weekly “Humpday Hilarities” posts, although not yet completely indexed by Google’s bots, definitely fall into this category.
As it stood, my site loomed perilously on the edge of getting one of those infamous “Duplicate Content Penalty” from Google (assuming it hadn’t already!). So to get around this, I made a few changes to my template’s headers.php file. In addition to Donna’s robots suggestion, I modified my description based loosely from the code in her presentation:
I also modified my title a bit based on her coding as well:
Basically in both of these snippets, I am checking the post title to see if it’s “Humpday Hilarities” and if it is, add the date into the code to make both the meta title and description tags unique. While most users would never need anything like this, anyone who posts a specific topic with repeating titles might find this handy.
What do you think?
Feedback, questions, constructive criticism is (as always) welcome. Feel free to use the comment form below! :)