I have posted previously about wordpress tags and archives and whether it can lead to duplicate content problems, the overwhelming response was NO google is smart enough to realise the difference.

However when I do a search site:www.example.com I get results like this:

Example Archive - Website Name
url example.com/category/url
Loren Ipsum Dol Bla

Example Archive - Website Name 
url example.com/tag/url
Loren Ipsum Dol Bla

Two identical results showing in the serps the only difference being in the url slug where the the one says category and the second says slug

Now even though I have been told the above does not count towards duplicate content, it drives me crazy and I feel it is not good for user experience

What I would Like To Do

I want to eliminate the above, I have two options:

  1. I can remove the tags from posts, just binding them to categories
  2. Preferably - I can do a 301 redirect from the tags to the main category

My Question

Can there be any sort of repercussion doing a 301 redirect from a tag / archive page to a main category page? Am I fine doing this, or can it potentially lead to problems down the road?

  • 1
    Could this be a content problem? I know this was just an example, but if you have a "URL" category, why would you also have a "URL" tag? It doesn't seem to serve any purpose. That would be like this site having a "webastering" tag. Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 0:51
  • @TimFountain Hey! Not all of us are webases or we basters. ;-) Just some of us. Your misspelling just hit me funny that's all. We all typo. I get a kick out of board instead of broad. My lexdysic fingers don't feel so alone. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 2:42
  • I just did the same thing to my site now, Google apparently shows the desktop version (example.com) and the mobile version (example.com/m) in the search results. What I don't understand is why it can't just only show the desktop version and only show the mobile version on google's mobile site. Perhaps I should ring google's neck. lol Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 3:09
  • Hey all thanks for commenting, yes the above problem is largely because of my own stupidity however I would like to fix it, if anyone has any solution, please post an answer or comment
    – Tim C
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 3:32

3 Answers 3


This isn't a duplicate content problem per se. You are not being penalized, right?

What's happening is the algorithm is functioning as expected. Two different pages are ranking for some search, but because these are archives you aren't being assessed the duplicate content penalty. I'm willing to bet no one said Google wouldn't index both if it thought these were different enough, it's just that no automatic penalty would be applied.

Ideally, you wouldn't want a 301 in place here...what you want are different categories and tags so archive pages might share an article here and there but are fundamentally different things. If you still think you need to pass one to the other, use rel=canonical instead.


Tags in wordpress are keywords assigned to posts to help with the internal search of Wordpress. However, wordpress is smart enough to detect posts based on the actual content. So tags are technically not required.

Moreover, in addition to the problem you've described, tags in posts create additional URLs like example.com/tag/url which leeches off the overall link equity you have on your website.

If I were you, I would get rid of tags and just assign posts to relevant categories. As it is, a post made on the homepage of a blog is already included in the category and archive pages, I wouldn't complicate it further through the use of tags.

So getting rid of the tags should work fine for you. Setting up 301 would be unnecessary in this scenario.


If you do 301 redirect in this case, you should canonicalise the original page and the duplicate and pick one over the other. This tells Google, this is the main page and ignore the others.

 <link rel="canonical" href="example.com/tag/url" /> 

Add that to both pages, href should be which ever page you want to be the original.

  • If you did a 301 redirect then you wouldn't necessarily need to specify a rel="canonical" tag (no crawler would ever see it - because of the 301 redirect). But I'd question whether a 301 redirect was really appropriate here.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 8:49

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