So in my constant battle to stay on top of the latest and greatest SEO best practices I read that WordPress’ archiving system works against us and I begin to talk to my clients about making sure that they choose a theme that allows them to choose what will appear on the archive pages (pages created for one or more categories, tags, author and if a blog page is set up to show the entire post). There is a great tool for dealing with this, which also happens to be good for other aspects of SEO. It’s a plugin called Yoast – a free SEO tool and with a few simple setting changes you don’t need to worry about duplication issues. But in all reality, Google understands that there is some duplication inherent in blogging sites and really doesn’t penalize websites as much for that kind of duplication as people may think and in fact there is no way to “diagnose” duplication issues the way some SEO experts suggest.*

So, Duplicate Content Good?

Well, no, I didn’t say that and I wouldn’t stop using the no-follow settings on my archives, but it’s not the archive duplicates that the algorithm changes were targeting when they started giving sites penalties for duplicate content. If you are copying and pasting content from another site, Google now has the tools to know that you are duplicating another’s content and will penalize you for not providing fresh new content. Additionally using your own content again can be dicey. That is different from the archive copies that Google may pick up on your site. This is taking an article you wrote, on your site or even on an aggregater and use it word for word on a blog or as page content. That can also get you penalized.

To summarize, don’t sweat the archive duplication, but do think about where you’re getting your content, and if you do want to republish something you’ve written, update it with new material and keep it fresh. Google’s algorithms are getting smarter all the time in the name of offering reliable, informative and up to date content to searchers. It’s up to you to make sure you’re providing exactly that.

*Source: Source Engine Watch “Duplicate content FAQ: What is it, and how should you deal with it?

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