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A few weeks back I realised that my blog software was creating daily post archives. Which basically resulted in duplicate content especially if I only had one post a day. The situation is something like this:

www.sitename.com/blog/archives/2013/06/01 - daily archive for 1 June 2013
www.sitename.com/blog/archives/2013/06/my-post-name.html

So, here we have two pages that are basically identical except the daily archive has some meaningless title like "Daily Archive for 1 June 2003". And I have no control over which content Google decides is the primary content. It's quite possible (and likely) that the daily archive could be the "primary" content and the actual post itself the "duplicate".

Once I realised it was doing this I modified the daily archive template to include

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

Here we are a few weeks later and I still see some daily archives coming up in Google search results. I realise some of those deep pages might not be crawled yet but I am worried that the original post (which should be the PRIMARY content) has been marked duplicate content by Google. Now I've no indexed the daily archives I might end up with no indexed content AND the original articles still flagged as duplicates. And nothing will show up in search at all.

Have I screwed myself here or is there a way out?

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1 Answer 1

What you have done is correct, although you could have used canonical tags, but either way is correct.

When Google re-crawls, re-indexes the pages with the NOINDEX, said pages will be dropped from the index over time. Once that happens there will only be the one page on your site with the original content and Google will realise this - I don't think a page is actually flagged up as duplicate forever.

As Google mentions here:

Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. If your site suffers from duplicate content issues, and you don't follow the advice listed above, we do a good job of choosing a version of the content to show in our search results.

and this:

In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we'll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.

So I don't think you should be worried, unless of course you were trying to manipulate with your duplicate content!

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"although you could have used canonical tags": But not for days with two or more articles published. –  unor Nov 12 '13 at 19:29

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