With a wordpress setup as follows of pages, custom posts, a custom taxonomy of colours and rewrite rules in place:




Archive by colour:



etc ...

I could quite feasibly structure archives to be found at the following




In the context of how a user could navigate a site I can see the benefits of having both paths available but pointing to what is essentially the same content.

Should this be avoided with respect to SEO and avoiding duplicate content?

1 Answer 1


If you need these two URLs being accessible for users, you need to choose one URL as the indexed one for search engines and put to the second one a rel="canonical" tag refering the first one. That way, these two URLs will be accessible for users but just one will be marked as valid (= indexed) for search engines to avoid duplicate content issues.

For example, you choose the first one (http://www.example.com/fruits/colour/red) and in the second one, you add this tag <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/fruits/colour/red" />. That way, all the SEO value will be associated to the first URL.

  • I agree with you with the above example, but perhaps it wasn't a great one to illustrate my point. Say for example it was 'health-benefits' etc... or something of equal weight to fruits and vegetables when cross referencing.
    – noelmcg
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 14:29
  • OK I have edited my answer.
    – Zistoloen
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 14:53
  • Cheers @zistoloen, thanks for the updated answer. Would there still be a penalty if the individual archive pages had different introductory text (but still essentially the same list of content/links)
    – noelmcg
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 17:26
  • It depends. If on these pages, you have 3 lines of unique text and 100 links with the same content, it's not good. If you have 10 lines of unique text and 20 links with the same content, it can be safe. If you're not sure, increase the size of unique text on these pages.
    – Zistoloen
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 19:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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