In Google Webmaster Tools I'm dealing with HTML Improvements > Duplicate title tags.

I have a Wordpress site and I use multiple categories for some posts. I have subsequently deleted one category (one week ago).

When I click on the links that Google is telling me are duplicates, both of them actually lead me to the same page.

So for example the two links below come up as duplicates in webmaster tools.

  • /frontpage/post-tile/
  • /racing-and-sport/post-tile/

I have deleted the category called 'frontpage' (in hindsight that was a dumb category) so now no matter what link I click in webmaster tools both send me to the url /racing-and-sport/post-tile/

My question is: why is Google seeing these as duplicates still if they are going to the same url? Is it perhaps because I only made this change last week and Google hasn't recrawled my site?

Most of my other duplicates are a result of the 'frontpage' category that has now been deleted. I realise I could have put a nofollow on the 'frontpage' category but it was coming up in all my breadcrumbs instead of the categories I preferred so I got rid of the 'frontpage' category all together.

  • Is it a redirect? Meaning does the URL change? Or you see the same content with two different URLs? – Itai Mar 12 '13 at 15:10
  • Both links go to the same url when I click them from within GWT. – stemie Mar 12 '13 at 15:22
  • In that case the answer from @w3d is most likely correct. – Itai Mar 12 '13 at 15:37

If /frontpage/post-tile/ now redirects (301 - permanent) to /racing-and-sport/post-tile/ then they won't be seen as duplicate. But it will take a bit of time for Google to recrawl your site and update its index.

The duplicate title report in GWT is based on the previous state of your site.

I realise I could have put a nofollow on the 'frontpage' category

Simply putting rel="nofollow" on the links does not necessarily prevent the page from being indexed and seen as duplicate. It could, afterall, be linked to from any number of other places.

You could have perhaps blocked the category (URL structure) with robots.txt?

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  • Ok so the duplicates should go away when the site is re-crawled. I will check back in a few days, thanks. – stemie Mar 12 '13 at 15:28

The other thing that could help is using more feature in WordPress. This allows you to show only a portion of each post on the home page and on category pages. There is then a link that takes you to the full post on its own page. When you use this feature, Google is much less likely to complain about duplicate content because only small amounts get duplicated.

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