I usually know this stuff, but its a real concern. (I'm tired so i hope this makes sense.)

I make a post and then add tags in the Wordpress backend. For example, the title of the post is "make big money". In the tag area I'm adding make big money, or tools to make big money, or how does blogging make big money.

I'm wondering as these tags that are the ones usually in tag clouds. Are they still OK to use with all the Google updates?

All those different tags go to the same post page. So I'm wondering if its considered duplicate content.

3 Answers 3


This is a job for rel="canonical" and not noindex. You want Google to discover the content any way it can but avoid the duplicate content penalty. Adding the <link rel="canonical" href="http://yoursite.com/orginal-post-permalink"/> to your author and tag archives accomplishes that.

I don't use All-in-One SEO for WordPress but I do use Yoast's SEO plugin and it automatically sets up canonical links on activation. I'm 99% sure that All-in-One does it too.

If you noindex something, Google won't follow any further and that may prevent it from indexing the desired link in some situations. You never know who has pasted a link to the content or which path they took to get to it...


Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO

Canonical Link Elements for WordPress

  • Canonical links activation option is there in the All in One SEO. I am also using SeoMoz SEO tools and in that I was shown once that my site has duplicate content, all because of the tags and catogories (even after I had enabled the canonical link). Then I had set the tag to noindex only then I was shown no duplicate content in SeoMox tool.
    – Sidh
    Jan 6, 2013 at 9:02
  • 2
    By all accounts it is the tag pages themselves that are possibly resulting in duplicate content (as mentioned in comments on Sidh's answer). The "problem" with this is that there is no one canonical URL - different tags have different "tag pages", if they are resulting in the same content because different posts have the same tags then that is unfortunate, but you cannot say that any one tag page is the canonical page. If pages have different tags applied (which may occur as new posts are added) then the tag pages will be different.
    – MrWhite
    Jan 6, 2013 at 11:06
  • However, there is no "penalty" as regards duplicate content, it just means that the duplicate content won't appear in the SERPs. For a "tag page", is this necessarily bad thing?
    – MrWhite
    Jan 6, 2013 at 11:08
  • I read this as dupe posts too. If the tag pages themselves are exact dupes, then this underscores the need to take a second pass at the tags and also to write custom excerpts for the posts. Take as many reasonable steps as necessary to ensure different content on all taxonomies.
    – JCL1178
    Jan 7, 2013 at 2:37

SEO will not be affected due to the use of tag clouds.

But as the different tags go to the same post then it is case of duplicate content and that will affect the SEO.

To overcome the duplicate content issue you have to make the tags "noindex" from robots.txt or use the All In one SEO Plugin and mark the tags and categories as noindex from the plugin settings.

To make the tags noindex from robots.txt, paste the following code in your robots.txt file

Disallow: /tag/

  • If different tags go to the same post then how is this duplicate content? Presumably the resulting content page has just 1 canonical URL?
    – MrWhite
    Jan 5, 2013 at 14:22
  • 1
    If you have a blog with only two posts and each post has the same 3 tags you now have tag pages 100% the same which is duplicate content.
    – Anagio
    Jan 5, 2013 at 14:46
  • @Anagio: Right..
    – Sidh
    Jan 5, 2013 at 15:01
  • Thanks guys, As for the categories I have 1 page as a category and post my blog posts on that, if I use nofollow that means it doesn't get picked up ? we had over 450 tags going to only 10 pages, looking at our web master tools we were indexed with over 300 links to the site and now down to less than 30? slapped for tags? We lost serp ranking and prominent placement. Any help or ideas on these matters?
    – user21186
    Jan 5, 2013 at 17:08

...the title of the post is "make big money". In the tag area I'm adding make big money, or tools to make big money, or how does blogging make big money.

When you ask "...OK to use with all the Google updates?", presumably you are asking whether these would be perceived as spam?

I don't think it is necessarily the subject matter that is a problem (although admittedly "make money" scams certainly ride high on the spam-o-meter, so you are playing in a dodgy area from the off). If that is your subject then so be it, it could be legitimate and a great resource for many.

However, it does look like you are keyword stuffing and in that sense it looks "spammy" IMO. You include the same 3 keywords in each of your tags, "make big money". If it wasn't for trying to get ranked in search engines, including the same keywords in multiple tags has little benefit to users.

All those different tags go to the same post page.

Others have already mentioned the possible duplicate content issue. Admittedly I thought you were talking about the actual "posts" at first, which obviously won't be perceived as duplicate since there is only one post with one canonical URL. However, as I was corrected in comments, if multiple posts have the same tags then the "tag pages" could be the same (showing the same posts) and therefore seen as duplicate.

However, as I state in the comments, duplicate content is not a "penalty". It will simply mean that the duplicate page won't appear in the SERPs, but one of them could. So, for a dynamic "tag page" is this really a bad thing? If there are only a few duplicate pages of this nature then personally I would have said this was probably OK. If, however, you have 100's of duplicate tag pages (but are you really assigning the same tags to all your posts?!) then maybe it is more of a problem and you should perhaps block these as Sidh suggests.

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