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Given a page which displays a list of posts in chronological order on one URL, let's say, www.example.com/listofposts.

Each of these posts also has its own URL, which displays the list of posts but with the selected post at the top and highlighted: www.example.com/post/1234.

The problem is that when search engines are indexing the content, because the URL for an individual post actually has content from other posts on it, I am finding that quite often content is indexed against the wrong URL.

Is there a way of telling search engines that different parts of a page should be indexed against different URL's?

I've seen Canonical URLs allow you to indicate the preferred URL for content on a page-by-page basis, but is there a way to do it for a situation like mine, where I have a page made up of several different bits of content each of which have their own canonical preferred URL?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 16 '13 at 11:05

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

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No, there is no type of markup or code to tell search engines that parts of a page are canonical to other pages.

An often used way is to not include the entire article on the listing page: just use a snippet of the article, a sentence or two, then have a 'read more' link that takes you to the article page.

  • Although there is no way to set a preferred URL for part of the content, your best bet is to have the content loaded through ajax, so that you don't get duplicate content issues, whilst also having the content accessible on its own page (non-ajax) so that you are able to have the content indexed still. – Jaryd Buggins Aug 19 '13 at 10:11
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Have you tried the meta tag NOINDEX, FOLLOW? This should allow the crawler to follow the links on the page and index them as required, but not index the current page.

eg,

<head>
   <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow"/>
</head>

Have a look at the blog entry at - http://moz.com/blog/duplicate-content-in-a-post-panda-world - for some more info on this.

  • 1
    This is the same as content="noindex". But the user still wants the current page to be indexed, since it does have content of its own, so this is not desirable. – MrWhite Aug 16 '13 at 13:35
  • @Kami - Thanks for your answer. This helps on the page which displays the full list of posts which is good, but it doesn't fix the problem on the other page that I've described where it is displaying a single post, but with the content of other posts also included on the page. – soupy1976 Aug 19 '13 at 8:52

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