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Im having issues with wordpress tags, leading to duplicate content (this is from old posts I dont use tags anymore) Question:

  1. For the tag pages causing problems should I put rel canonical pointing to prefered category? OR
  2. Should I rather use a 301 redirecting to prefered category instead of canonical OR
  3. Should I delete the tags page, putting a 410 on the page?

Any advice appreciated

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Option #2.

Let's start with the worst option...

delete the tags page, putting a 410 on the page

The reason why this is worst is because you're taking search engines to a dead-end. They will not know you have updated URLs for your new content since the 410 page simply means "gone".

The O.K. option but not the best is...

put rel canonical pointing to preferred category

This is because rel canonical might not work for every search engine in the world. Yes it works very well with Google and Bing might like that tag, but other search engines might not.

Should I rather use a 301 redirecting to prefered category instead of canonical

301's work best for everyone including old-fashioned browsers. Also, most (if not all) search engines will understand a 301 redirect since it has been around longer than rel canonical. At least with this, you won't have to manage two copies of the exact same page.

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Suggestion: Use noindex tag if your tags and categories are not related.

I will recommended to use noindex meta tags on your tags webpages, the benefits is google will still crawl that webpages and pass the juicyrank easily.

And remove the tags links from your blog post, so your juicyrank will pass to only your important webpages.

Suggestion: Use 301 redirection if your tags and categories are similar.

301 and Canonical both will do something, but as mike suggest Google and major search engine follow 301 redirection very well. And I recommended 301 redirection only if tags and your categories is somehow related.

Suggestion: Use 410 error page, if you want your website clean (Not mean by speed)

When you remove such a tags from your website, then all of the tags links will automatically deleted from your blog, so your juicyrank will pass to other webpages, so 404 or 410 is not bad at all. By removing such webpages will make your website clean, so you don't need to focus on tags further more.

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