Point 1: I have a front page which is dynamic because it gets all the latest posts that are rated. The question is: do I have to make these posts an excerpt, because that's better for SEO?

Point 2: I have two pages where I have links on the left and right sides (widgets) that are pointing to posts. In the middle of the page, I have one post that has the content shown with his own comments and tags beneath the post itself. The question: do I have to set a nofollow on these tags? And what about the links?

If I click on a post link, it will bring me to a single.php, which has actually the same lay-out and elements as the pages I described at point 2. Will this be seen as duplicate content?

Point 3: I have an alphabetic list of all my posts which are linking to the single page. Is this seen as duplicate content? Do I have to set a nofollow on the links?

Point 4: I have author pages which have the last commented and posted posts and reactions of a person... Is this seen as duplicate content and do I have to add a nofollow link?

There is so much information that I don't know which one is best or how to look at it. I would really appreciate it if someone can help me out with it.

PS: if I generate a XML Sitemap, which of all has the highest priority?

1 Answer 1


Understanding how nofollow works and what it's meant for

Your biggest mistake is your misunderstanding of how nofollow works - a lot of people assume that nofollow means Google will not follow the links, this is not true. Nofollow is considered a attribute that is best used for off-site links, quote from Johns recent answer on another related question:


Generally speaking, nofollow should be used on the following type of links:

Untrusted content
Paid links

Tackling the duplicate content problem

With the birth of Blog engines such as WordPress created a headache for webmasters a like with duplicate pages such as Tag, Author, Recent, Date, Popular pages etc, Google confronted this issue many years back with the release of rel="canonical", by using canonical pages you are telling search engines that this is the master page and all other pages that the content is found on is ignored without punishment for duplicate content.


If Google knows that these pages have the same content, we may index only one version for our search results. Our algorithms select the page we think best answers the user's query. Now, however, users can specify a canonical page to search engines by adding a element with the attribute rel="canonical" to the section of the non-canonical version of the page. Adding this link and attribute lets site owners identify sets of identical content and suggest to Google: "Of all these pages with identical content, this page is the most useful. Please prioritize it in search results."

Yoast SEO and many alike

Adding canonical pages to WordPress is a walk in the park thanks to many plugin authors such as Yoast SEO, by using such plugins you can easily add REL Canonical to your master pages and make the duplicate content problem go away for good. I've used Yoast as my example as I've used this plugin for many sites and it works well but there are many more plugins that are equally as good which you can explore on the WP plugin library.


When Google introduced the canonical link element, to distinguish the “original” page from derivative pages within your site carrying the same content, they reached out to me to develop a WordPress plugin for it, and I did. Later on, canonical link elements were added to core. They work fine, with one caveat: they only work for single posts and pages, not for categories and tags, not for the homepage. The WordPress SEO plugin fixes that, and sets the correct canonical on each of those pages.

XML Sitemap

The priority settings is should not be considered a reliable option to conquering duplicate content issues, you should opt to use Rel Canonical instead and leave the sitemap untouched.


Q: If I have multiple URLs that point to the same content, can I use my Sitemap to indicate my preferred URL for that content? A: Yes. While we can't guarantee that our algorithms will display that particular URL in search results, it's still helpful for you to indicate your preference by including that URL in your Sitemap. We take this into consideration, along with other signals, when deciding which URL to display in search results.

  • You wouldn't use canonical on Tag, Author, Recent, Date, archive pages as there wont be one single master page with all the same exact content. You should be using meta robots NOINDEX, FOLLOW on these types of pages.
    – Max
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 15:47
  • 1
    @moobot there is no need to use noindex, follow on those pages as Google will make its own mind up based on the canonical links, you'd only use noindex, follow if you don't want them appearing in the results and in no way does it hurt your rankings if you have good usage of canonical links Stack Exchange doesn't de-index tag pages either webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/seo why would you? And in no way did I suggest that you use canonical on tag, author, recent, date, - I said with the birth of wordpress with the likes of tag etc. Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 15:56
  • You might want to make your answer a bit more clear, it sounds like you are saying use canonical tags on Tag, Author, Recent, Date, and such archive pages. I prefer to use NOINDEX on my archive pages as they simply duplicate content and I'd rather not leave it to chance to Google to get it correct. I have also done some testing and found my traffic increased after NOINDEXING such pages. Here is an interesting article where they do the same kind of test: searchenginejournal.com/…
    – Max
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 3:47
  • Thanks mate, good answer. What I have done now: noindexing author archives, follow tag pages, nofollow/unarchive category pages and add canonical URL with SEO Yoast plugin. The problem: I see everywhere a canonical url. Is this good? I think it's a bad thing... Other thing: I have <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow"/> on my author pages, but I also see a canonical url on the same place. Which one has priority?
    – BlackEagle
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 9:17

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