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I use WordPress for my site and I've just run into this dilemma. I have five major categories on my site and each categories have five sub-categories. Usually, the posts are published under one sub-category (i.e. the parent categories will be unchecked while the child category will be checked.)

When I visit my parent category, obviously I see all the child category posts too. Which means that I'm looking at them twice and it's a duplicate content.

Let's say I have a site that has two parent-categories LANGUAGES and CATS.

PYTHON is a sub-category of LANGUAGES and I publish an article selecting only PYTHON as the category.

Let's say this is my article's URL - mysite.net/2015/09/beauty-is-in-the-code/

When I visit my sub-category's URL mysite.net/python/ - My article with an excerpt appears (obviously!).

When I visit my parent-category url mysite.net/languages/python/ - My article (with same excerpts) appears too.

Now my questions -

  1. Both the links have same articles with Same links. Will search engines still pick these as duplicate contents?
  2. Should I continue ignoring the parent category while publishing?
  3. Should I no-index the subcategory?

Additional info - This is my current url structure for all posts - mydomain.net/%postname%/. I don't use %category% base.

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It is always considered a good seo practice to non index categories and tags. Google considers these pages as duplicate as the same title & post excerpt is used across all those indexed pages. In order to get rid of Google’s penalty, you’ll need to no-index categories and tags on your blog. If you are using wordpress you can use seo by yoast plugin and configure it not to index categories. Or alternatively you can modify your robot.txt file.

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If you're adding customized Excerpts to these posts, then you can let them index. But, if the excerpts are automatic & going to be same for main-cat + sub-cat then, it's a risk of getting flagged as Duplicate Content

You can read this nicely explained Moz article here & decide by your case. If you can make category landing pages seem very unique & beneficial for users, you may let those categories indexed.

  • I'm afraid the excerpts are not custom for all the posts. But the links are same. So that's where the confusion starts. Couldn't actually determine which one will the factor for the bots to deem a content as a dupe. – Ken Sep 20 '15 at 18:50
  • I think, links won't be an issue in determining dupe. These links usually carry / should carry rel=bookmark. But because the content is not going to be unique, its better to no-index categories. I've done the same on my blog because excerpts will always be default auto-generated. – tushonline Sep 21 '15 at 10:57

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