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I am wondering wether my blog content can be considered as duplicated by search engines. Here is my situatuion, each article can be fully displayed on 4 different urls :

  1. Blog layout : 2 full articles on the "news" page http://example.com/news
  2. Article page : http://example.com/news/article
  3. Archives (1 page/month with 2-3 full articles) : http://example.com/archives
  4. Archive article page : http://example.com/archives/article

For the 4th point, I am planning to use the rel="canonical" link to tell search engines witch page I want to index.

But I am pretty puzzled about the 3 first points. Would it be better (for SEO purpose) to change the structure of my blog and not display the full article in the blog layout?

For the archives, should I set meta tag to noindex to avoid duplicating the articles?

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on the other hand, if you implemented canonical links you wouldn't need to use noindex as canonical indicates it is a duplicate (that is if the link doesn't point to itself) –  Liam Sorsby Apr 15 at 14:18
    
@LiamSorsby I can use canonical link on the archives/article page but not on the archives page as it is not a copy of an other page , it just features articles from several other pages. –  web-tiki Apr 15 at 14:27
    
Don't use noindex! Don't you want seo value for older entries? –  Martijn Apr 15 at 14:37
    
@web-tiki if it's not a duplicate then there wouldn't be any need to use canonical link tags so you would be fine for this. –  Liam Sorsby Apr 15 at 14:38
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I read your question and the comments. With respect to all of the commenters who all left excellent comments from my point of view, I think there is a missing element in these considerations. Small, but important.

Your News and Archives pages will have more than one full article each and I assume other things too. It will not be an exact copy of your article in that respect. However, you still have the same problem. Sorta. As well, from the Article and Archive Article pages, I am sure that an article will age from one location to the other and so that would not be an issue.

So between /article and /archive I do not see a problem. But on the News and Archives pages, I do. Somewhat.

Here is what I am thinking.

I would not post the entire article on the News and Archives pages, but I like what you want to do, so I would suggest perhaps a larger portion of the article than just a snippet. Just for an example, if possible, perhaps half or a third of the article. I do not know what options your blog software gives you, or even if you can write code to help manage the appearance of your blog, but I would (from a programming perspective) take the first x number of characters from each article and make them available on your News and Archives pages. Assuming that most articles are at least 300 words, you should be able to take a good chunk of the article, something on the order of 1/3rd or 1/2 and post it with safety. As much as I do not like the read more links, perhaps that would be a good idea.

If this is not possible or is not an option you want, then I think you may have little choice but to no index the News and Archives pages unless these pages change rapidly. If this is the case, then you may not have a worry. If these pages change rapidly enough, then I assume that Google would mark these pages as having duplicate content. If you do no index these pages, then I would make sure there is a sitemap to make sure that your archived articles get indexed and that when an article moves from /article to /archives, that a 301 redirect handles this move for you.

Just some simple thoughts on the matter. You appear to have a nice scenario in mind. The question is, what is the best way to handle it. It may be that your setup will work fine without modification and you will not see any issues. But to know that for sure, you will have to try it. If you want to be sure there is not a problem, then I would suggest a sitemap and no index the News and Archives pages.

share|improve this answer
    
Interesting thoughts, I am considering cutting the articles and adding that undesired "read more" link. I didnt' want it at the bigining to prevent having to come back one step each time the article is read but it would at least make visitors go further in the site herarchy and would prevent duplicate content. SEO can get pretty anoing sometimes(most of the time). –  web-tiki Apr 15 at 16:39
    
I have to admit using a sorta read more link where I use the article title with read more. While they are necessary, I just feel they are over used. That is all. Not a big deal. One nice advantage is that you will increase your time on site per user and pages read per user. These are important metrics for Google to help rank your site. I suspect this is why the read more links are used as much as they are. –  closetnoc Apr 15 at 16:48
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@closetnoc I wouldn't no index the news portion of the site, isn't this the first place the article would reside? Hence the article won't get index until it is archived at least! –  Liam Sorsby Apr 16 at 6:24
    
I was kinda mixed on this. It is possible that Google would see the pages changing rapidly enough that it would not matter. Also I was not sure of the blog scenario, but I was assuming that the article would appear on the Archive page and still have it's own page. Same assumption with News. With this assumption, it was not necessary to have the News and Archive pages indexed. It is always an option not to use the no index and just see what happens. I suspect it would be fine. But I wanted to couch my answer on the side of caution. Otherwise, you may be right! –  closetnoc Apr 16 at 6:31
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