1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Canonicalization Issue Using WP - Tags and Categories Being Assigned Canonical Status

Discussion in 'Web Design' started by marketmadness, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. marketmadness

    marketmadness Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    17
    Occupation:
    Self-employed, day-trader
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:
    Hi,
    Hopefully this is an appropriate enough spot for this question/issue.

    I recently moved some content from a Penguin penalized site - which had gone from pulling in $15-18k/month down to $2-5k/month - to a different domain in an attempt/test to see if I could at least partly regain my rankings by simply moving the content to another domain in the same niche which I purchased at the same time as the original, now penalized site but just never did much with it. So it is basically a slightly aged, mostly blank slate to work with. How to redirect the remaining traffic from the old site to the new one without also passing the penalty is a bit of a dilemma, but is not the reason for writing this post.

    As the title implies this is a canonicalization issue which has come up. After moving two pages/posts of content from the penalized site as a small test first, I noticed after a couple of days that I had /tag/ pages showing up in search results, with the main page nowhere to be seen. After going to this page and then looking at its source code, as well as the source code for the main page, I noticed that they were both being given canonical status automatically.
    In source code of page arrived at through "tag" URLs showing in search results
    <!-- All in One SEO Pack 1.6.15.3 by Michael Torbert of Semper Fi Web Design[236,333] -->
    <link rel="canonical" href="hxxp:/...........net/tag/.............-review/" />
    <!-- /all in one seo pack -->

    And from the root page
    <!-- All in One SEO Pack 1.6.15.3 by Michael Torbert of Semper Fi Web Design[236,333] -->
    <link rel="canonical" href="hxxp:/...........net/.............-review/" />
    <!-- /all in one seo pack -->



    Any suggestions here? I've come up empty in the quest for a solution so far and don't want to continue with the content migration until I have this, and other issues sorted out.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!
     
  2. marketmadness

    marketmadness Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    17
    Occupation:
    Self-employed, day-trader
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:
    Hi,
    Okay so clearly this isn't the right forum for this question/issue so does anyone maybe have any suggestions on where might be a better place for this? A more appropriate forum or whatever?
    I'd really appreciate any help here as this seemingly small issue is beginning to cost me a great deal of money.
    Thanks!
     
  3. SmartMan

    SmartMan BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    What kind of suggestions are you looking for? I'm sorry but I don't understand whether you want to get rid of /tags/ or canonicalization itself or simply don't want google to index those "Tag" pages?

    Added you on Skype.
     
  4. marketmadness

    marketmadness Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    17
    Occupation:
    Self-employed, day-trader
    Location:
    Seattle
    Home Page:
    Sorry it is kind of confusing. I have a hard time explaining the problem clearly.

    Example of problem:
    main page = hxxp;//myawesomesite.net/productX-review/
    This is what I want in search results when someone searches for "productX review" - my canonical version.

    okay now lets say I have various tags applied to the post: reviews of productX, productX customer review, etc....

    Now someone does a search for "productX review" but instead of finding and arriving at hxxp;//myawesomesite.net/productX-review/, they are finding and arriving at hxxp;//myawesomesite.net/tag/reviews-of-productX/ which is, of course, the exact same page but with a different URL. And these duplicate content results are outranking the original content, main page - the canonical version.

    Now if you look at my source code for the original content page you will see everything looks right, with <link rel="canonical" href="hxxp;//myawesomesite.net/productX-review/" />
    Sweet!
    But not so fast...
    If I click on a tag page, or follow the search engine results displaying tag pages to arrive at hxxp;//myawesomesite.net/tag/reviews-of-productX/ and then view the source code of that, which should be pointing at the original content canonical version of the page you instead see that it is giving that URL canonical status, showing <link rel="canonical" href="hxxp;//myawesomesite.net/tag/reviews-of-productX/" />

    And it does this with all pages, posts, archives, author, everything...so in other words no matter what content you look at it will be claiming itself as the canonical version. If I had 20 pages of dupe content caused by URL modifiers or whatever then I would have 20 pages of duplicate content all claiming to be the original, canonical version.

    Hopefully, that is a bit clearer as to the issue.
    Frankly I keep thinking I must be misunderstanding or missing something though because these are all default settings and obviously not everyone who uses WP (or the same theme at least) has this problem...therefore, maybe it isn't even a problem at all and this is the way it is supposed to be? I'm stumped and two days of intense search engine querying has unfortunately not enlightened me at all haha.
    Worst case scenario I am thinking I will just remove all tags, categories, etc from my posts to avoid the issue. Though that seems an extreme and far from ideal solution.

    Thanks for the response, cheers!
     
  5. SmartMan

    SmartMan BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    Now that's clear. Thanks for the explanation. If I were you, I'd do one out of 3 workaround.

    1. Turn off Canonical URLs Under AIO SEO Settings.
    2. Disable Tags pages on your sitemap.
    3. Switch to Yoast or any other SEO Plugins because AIO became buggy lately.