Do you need to know how to solve duplicate content in Joomla website effectively? If that’s all you hope to get, we would like to show you the best methods in the blog today. Let’s get started.
What is duplicate content and the reasons it happens in Joomla?
Duplicate content is a common issue online. It occurs when identical or substantially similar content appears on more than one website. This can occur within a website or across multiple platforms. Duplicate content can happen unintentionally or on purpose, but it can lead to confusion for users and may impact the user experience, which search engines often take into consideration. It is imperative to be mindful of duplicate content when creating content for your website.
In the context of Joomla, a popular content management system (CMS), duplicate content can occur for various reasons:
- Multiple URLs: Joomla allows you to access the same content through different URLs. This might happen due to various menu items or modules pointing to the same article or page. Search engines may consider each URL as a separate page and thus cause duplicate content issues.
- Print Versions: Some Joomla templates and extensions generate print-friendly versions of pages. These versions might have the same content as the original, leading to duplication.
- Pagination: If your Joomla site has paginated content, such as articles split into multiple pages, each page might have similar content, causing duplication.
- Categories and Tags: Joomla allows you to assign articles to multiple categories and tags. When an article belongs to multiple categories, accessing it through different category URLs can create duplicate content.
- Session IDs: If Joomla uses session IDs in URLs for tracking user sessions, search engines might index multiple versions of the same page, each with a unique session ID.
- HTTP vs. HTTPS: If your site is accessible via both HTTP and HTTPS protocols, search engines might index both versions, leading to duplicate content.
- Canonicalization: In case the canonical tag is not implemented correctly, search engines may not understand which version of the page is the preferred one, leading to duplicate content concerns.
- Copied Content: Sometimes, the content might be copied from other websites or sources, either intentionally or unintentionally, leading to duplicate content issues.
How to solve duplicate content in Joomla website
Setting up menu in the correct way
A frequent cause for duplicate content is when a single article is accessible from multiple menu items. The remedy to this problem lies in streamlining so the same article is not accessible from various routes. Doing that ensures a unique and professional finished product.
Aside from the variety of menu selections, duplicated content can also originate from the breadcrumb path or the allocation of modules. To solve duplicate content in Joomla, we have two solutions at our disposal: avoiding the creation of a new link for the same content, or using menu item aliases. Let’s get this sorted out!
With the first solution, you can create a new menu module and assign it to the desired location. For the best results, it is advisable to avoid duplicating menu items.
If you’d like to utilize existing menu items on a different menu, this is the way to go. Through this process, you can create a new menu with a direct reference to the original, without creating a new URL. To access the feature in Joomla, simply follow the steps outlined: Add new menu item -> Menu item type -> Choose select -> System links -> Menu item alias.
Now, everything is done and you are easily able to solve Duplicate Content In Joomla.
Using 301 redirects
If your Joomla website has multiple URLs pointing to the same content, consider implementing 301 redirects. A 301 redirect tells search engines that the requested URL has permanently moved to another location. This way, all the duplicate URLs will redirect to the main URL, consolidating link equity and preventing search engines from considering them as separate pages.
There are two methods to use 301 redirects for the Joomla website:
- Use redirect extension
- Advanced rules in the .htaccess file
However, if you are not good at technical know-how, it’s a good suggestion for you to get a redirect extension to use 301 redirects. After that, you can smoothly solve Duplicate Content In Joomla.
Utilizing canonical tag
Using Canonical tags to your advantage can make a world of difference to your website. It enables search engines to recognize the original content among the multiple duplicates, and indexes it in SERPs.
Let’s have a look at the following instance:
A page is reached in 2 ways:
By inserting a canonical tag after the first link, we can signal to Google which URL is the original source and should be indexed exclusively.
Implementing canonical tags is a straightforward process when it comes to websites comprising of HTML and other web design code. The process, however, can become quite complicated when you are using a CMS platform, like Joomla. It requires hours of scouring the web, and requires a certain level of coding expertise.
Thankfully, the Joomla community has numerous developers and contributors at hand, whose tools can make the task much easier for us. Daniel Morell’s ‘Custom Canonical‘ plugin, for example, simplifies the insertion of canonical tags for articles, categories, tags and menu items. Even better, it’s totally free!
To make the most out of the plugin, here’s a four-step guide to get started: So, if you want to insert a canonical tag to one of your articles, follow these steps:
- Download -> Install & activate the Custom Canonical plugin.
- Access Extensions -> Plugins -> Enable Custom Canonical plugin.
- Visit Content -> Articles -> Publishing tab.
- In the Canonical URL field, fill out the original article URL.
- Save it.
Trying Meta Tag Robots
The simplest way to prevent search bots from indexing a specific page is to use the Meta Tag Robots feature found in the Publishing tab of the article, category or menu item option.
To do this, simply change the Robots field to “No index“. Joining this strategy to your existing web content management is a surefire way to ensure comprehensive user privacy and protection.
If you instruct search bots not to index one of two similar pieces of content, the other will be given priority in the indexing process. Utilizing this strategy ensures that your preferred content is properly indexed by search engines. Now, you can solve duplicate content in Joomla without any trouble.
Applying for an extension
If you have a small website, you can prevent duplicate content issues with a few easy configurations, such as the htaccess file, robots.txt, canonical tag, and 301-redirects. However, if your site is larger, this can be a daunting task. It is far easier and efficient to opt for an extension in this case. Here, we have summarised a few of the popular extensions on the market. For an in-depth review of this selection, take a look at our list of the top Joomla SEO extensions and make an informed decision.
Experienced webmasters are already familiar with this technique, but for those who may not know – sitemap or sitemap.xml is a file that contains all the webpages that the webmaster deems important and should be indexed by search engines. This helps search bots crawl a site more efficiently. In regards to duplicate content issues, the URLs you input into the sitemap can be treated as the canonical URL.
For sites containing thousands of pages, sitemaps can be a very effective tool when managing duplicate content. To ensure this method is most effective, only include your canonical link in your sitemap. That being said, Google also stated that this solution doesn’t necessarily resolve the problem completely, with sitemap being seen as other criteria that search engines look for when you do not utilize the canonical tag.
Utilizing Google Search Console (webmaster tool)
Google Search Console offers webmasters an invaluable resource to ensure the ongoing health of their sites. With this powerful tool, webmasters can address any duplicate URLs found to their detriment in the dashboard.
There are three distinct methods to eradicating redundant content: submitting a sitemap, utilizing parameters, or selecting a preferred domain.
The first method is submitting a sitemap, as we mentioned in the section above, you can consider this method to solve duplicate content in Joomla.
Secondly, using a preferred domain is an essential step in preventing duplicate content that can occur when both the ‘www’ and ‘non-www’ version of a website are accessible. Thankfully, with Google’s Search Console, it is easy to specify which version of a domain should be served up as the canonical link when showing up in search results. Here are the steps to set your preferred domain: Login to your webmaster tool -> Site Settings -> Preferred domain.
Finally, parameter is a complex yet effective solution for eliminating duplicate content resulting from URL parameters. Parameters can range from the well-known, such as “sort”, “utm” and “aff”, to the obscure. To get an idea of this process, let’s look at the following example: ‘forum/question/jsn-cube-update.html?sort=latest’. Here, we can see that the URL contains a parameter in the form of ‘sort=latest’. By implementing the parameter, search engine bots can determine whether to crawl the URL with the ‘sort’ parameter or not.
Now, let’s login to your search console -> Crawl/URL parameters -> Add more parameter -> Select specific action for Google bot to crawl.
Duplicate content can be detrimental to both your website’s SEO performance and user experience. To keep your Joomla website running optimally or solve Duplicate Content In Joomla, it is important to take proactive measures that will help to enhance SEO, user engagement, and overall site performance. Don’t forget to regularly audit your website for any new instances of duplicate content, and address them promptly to ensure an ongoing presence on the web.
Furthermore, don’t forget that we are providing a lot of free Joomla 4 templates, so don’t miss the collection if you need to get the best one.