When I 1st started this blog a couple of people warned me about the duplicate content issues with WordPress; I sort of put it on the backburner because I was busy and then just never got around to doing it. I was checking my rankings the other day for certain phrases related to some of the recent blog posts that I have done and half of them are getting duped out by either the category pages or the archive pages due to them pages having more PageRank. The fact that this blog does not get posted on too often has probably been a factor.
The easiest way to fix this issue would be to add the more tag to my posts so that you would have to click onto a post to see the entire article, but I tried that and I did not like it, I didn’t know where to put the tag and when I tested it, it looked funny.
Here are the two main things that I have done to this blog to try and solve the duplicate content issues without sacrificing functionality:
Replaced the old WordPress archives with a new handmade monthly archive; the new archive simply offers links to the posts that I have done for each month. This means that searchers can find the posts for each month, extra PageRank gets passed passed to the posts because they are not a million miles from the blog homepage and that there should be no archive duplicate content.
Nofollowed all of the links to the category pages; I really wanted to keep the category pages because I think they are useful so I decided that nofollow was the best road to go down, I couldn’t find any plugin for this so I just did it by hand. This should eventually cause the category pages to disappear from the search engines so that they will just be there for my visitors.
Hopefully once the search engines pick up on these things all of my posts will start to rank properly.
There are a few other things that I have done as well, three of them have nothing to do with SEO but may help my traffic:
Validated the homepage; this will almost definitely not have any impact on my rankings but there where about 50 errors and it is better to be safe then sorry. I have still not been able to completely validate the posts but I am sure I will get my head around it eventually.
Nofollowed the links to all of the subscribe buttons and the feed; this may mean I have a bit more PageRank for the posts, it was basically a waste of link juice.
Added a subscribe to the feed link to the bottom of every post; I got this idea off Patrick who I consider to be an expert blogger.
Added a button showing how many subscribers I have; people may feel sorry for me and subscribe out of pity.