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how to avoid Google indexing several times the same page that has multiple taxonomy terms, because Google is listing the same page but under a variety of URLs.
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Dennis T
Greensboro, NC
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June 5, 2015 - 7:41 pm
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Hi, I seem to have a problem with a single article being indexed by Google using various URLs. Is there something that I need to tell Google about not indexing categories or a custom taxonomy (in this case “topics”)? Or is this a symptom of a different problem?

To be more specific, I did a search for the text via Google for the text contained in a particular article on my website, and it returned about 6 listings all for the same page but with different URLs. The URLs included: 

http://www.elderlawfirm.com/th…..d=planning (which is the name of the article)

http://www.elderlawfirm.com/ca…..-planning/ (which is the category its assigned to)

               ditto         /topics/alzheimers-resources (which is one the taxonomy terms assigned to it)

               ditto         /topics/long-term-care-planning (which is another taxonomy term assigned to it)

etc. for the couple of other taxonomy terms assisgned to the article for the custom taxonomy of “topics”

Can you point me in the right direction for how to fix this, or at least to ask the right questions? I imaging that if this is happening once, it’s happening many times. Thanks in advance! Dennis

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Rick Anderson
Desert Hot Springs, CA
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June 6, 2015 - 10:14 am
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The canonical url is:

<link rel=”canonicalhref=”http://www.elderlawfirm.com/th…..-planning/” />

Since you aren’t using categories as part of your url structure you should omit both categories and topics from your site map.

Having said that – this is a mistake.  Your permalinks should include your category name so that your urls have a semantic structure.

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Dennis T
Greensboro, NC
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June 8, 2015 - 6:29 am
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Thanks Rick…although I’m not sure what you’re suggesting that I do about this.

Do I have a problem here that needs to be fixed? If so, it sounds like fixing the site map is a partial fix but not really the right way to proceed.

Not sure if you’re saying that I should select a different permalinks structure than what I’ve got (I selected the option for the site to use “http://www.elderlawfirm.com/sample-post/”).

If so, what would would be the preferred permalinks structure instead?

Many thanks once again! Dennis

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Rick Anderson
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June 8, 2015 - 6:49 am
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Yes – you absolutely should change your permalink structure to %/%category%/%post-name%/%.

Then you should use your sitemap settings to exclude all taxonomy maps except category

Once done – you will have a semantically structured URL and a single “canonical” path to each page and post.

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Dennis T
Greensboro, NC
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June 8, 2015 - 8:21 pm
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Thanks Rick, I changed the permalinks and I do recall your mentioning that early in development. Not sure why I changed it. Oops. Fortunately I’ve always adhered to the one category-one post rule though so I’m good.

I don’t understand what you mean by “use your sitemap settings to exclude all taxonomy maps except category”

I’m using the plugin: google (xml) sitemap generator and the settings are here, same as before I changed the permalink structure. 

Here I had legal-faq custom post types included since I wan’t necessarily using categories for those but can. However if I uncheck that, does this “exclude all taxonomy maps” or is something else needed? Thanks…Dennis

still needed? Thanks.byob-sitemaps.jpg

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Rick Anderson
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June 9, 2015 - 9:09 am
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That looks right to me.

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