I've noticed a weird thing on my blog. Let's say I just created an article which has this title:

This article is now showing on Google search results but a random tag/category of a page is

So, when I search on Google with some keywords related to the article (or even with the whole title), instead of showing the article it shows me a tag of the page or a category

For example one of: - https://www.example.net/tag/webmasters - https://www.example.net/category/webmasters

SEO onpage is being done with Yoast premium version with more than 1 keyword.

  • How about for older articles? What happens which you search for articles that a week, month, or year old? – Stephen Ostermiller Feb 21 '18 at 16:14
  • @StephenOstermillerI checked archives from last year and most of them don't appear in google results. The new articles either show up immediately or they don't at all. It's weird because I search for an article "shoes" and I get a google result on a category of my page of "politics". – legacy.so Feb 21 '18 at 20:28
  • 1
    Is this a WordPress site? WP often shows full articles on category and tag pages unless you use the <!--more--> tag in them. I'm thinking that full articles showing on your category and tag pages might be preventing the article page from being indexed due to duplicate content. – Stephen Ostermiller Feb 21 '18 at 20:36
  • @StephenOstermiller Yes this is a WordPress site and maybe that's the case since the website has sidebar with some news getting repeated in each page/category. – legacy.so Feb 22 '18 at 10:32
  • Content in sidebars are not usually enough duplication to prevent indexing of pages. How about the full articles though? Are full articles showing up in the main center section of tag and category pages? – Stephen Ostermiller Feb 22 '18 at 10:55

The more I read about the Categories & Tags pages, the more I feel like you should not use them. I actually just wrote a post about that: No Categories & Tags. Why?! It all sounds good at first but I think that it diverts SEO juice and does not really improve your SERPs.

Actually, I see two major problems:

  1. I don't see my users ever going to those tag/category pages—if my readers don't use them, then they are not necessary, right?

  2. When Google sends one of their user to one of those pages, they always bounce. This is a very strong signal to Google that it's crap and thus should not be ranked high anymore.

People are doing the same thing as you: if they want to find something on your website (or in general), they go to Google, not your Categories & Tags pages. Since I've been removing those from my websites in the last few months, I've seen improvement in my impressions and clicks. So I'm sure there was a rather negative effect in having them in the first place.

Now to answer your specific question, I would say that somehow that one category or tag page got a really high rank (maybe a backlink to it?) and thus Google will often re-read that page and thus find your title and index that new content quickly. The page itself is brand new and the rest of your site may not rank as well so Google takes its time to read new pages. That doesn't mean later searches with the same title would not instead return the new page.

Still, if you have not done so yet, I would remove all the Category and Tags and put redirects probably to the home page (wherever you have your blog.) The only reason you'd want to keep your meta data is if you really receive many clicks on them. If you can see such on your website, you may want to think about it a little further (i.e. clicks from posts to your tag or category pages). Chances are, it's just like me, you get one or two of those every quarter. Not useful.

In my post (link above), please make sure to read about all the detrimental reasons why search engines will penalize you for having tags and categories. It was working a while back by increasing your rank, today, not so much (and even in 2015 the wheel was already turned.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.