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#8874 – Question about Content Tags and 4SEO

Posted in ‘4SEO’
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Wednesday, 29 June 2022 15:24 UTC
formfranska

Hi Yannick,

This is just a question so no rush.

Some years ago I used content tags for some articles in my Joomla website. This turned out to cause SEO issues (duplicate content) so I got rid of all the content tags and decided to never use them again.

Now, however, I would really like to be able to use 1 or 2 content tags in Joomla just to be able to filter content for applying templates to specific pages (YOOtheme Pro, dynamic content templates). This means I would not generate any pages based on tags (no modules, menu items etc). But I'm afraid that Joomla still creates URLs based on the content tags and that Google will pick them up.

So my question to you is:
Can 4SEO prevent Google from picking up any URLs that possibly would be generated from those content tags?

I'm not going to create any content tags if you advice against it. Then I will just have to apply my templates manually.

(I also posted my question about content tags in the Joomla FB group which also generated a couple of comments about 4SEO. Just FYI: https://www.facebook.com/groups/joomlanospam/posts/10158389744020997).

Thursday, 30 June 2022 09:26 UTC
wb_weeblr

Hi Anna,

If 2 different URLs can be found on the site for the same article, one "normal" and one "from the tags page" then it's not very good indeed and I'd want to make sure the "tags" page either:

- is no-indexed by adding a meta noindex tag to these pages

- or is excluded from crawling using your robots.txt

- or has a canonical pointing at the "original" URL.

It's be easier to talk about an example: what would be the "main" URL of an article and what would the URL of the "tagged" version?

From your description, I'm not sure there would be 2 links to each article. It sounds more like all this content would only be accessible through the tags page or menu item?

Again, tags only become an issue if using them creates 2 or more links to the same content. 

Best regards

Yannick Gaultier

weeblr.com / @weeblr

 

 
Thursday, 30 June 2022 14:36 UTC
formfranska

Hi Yannick,

Thank you.

Yes, the problem is I can't give any real example since these are URLs that would possibly be generated by Joomla if I create content tags. And I do not want to risk penalties and Google trouble by testing what might happen.

I guess the only ones who really know how this works exactly in detail are the Joomla developers themselves.

From your description, I'm not sure there would be 2 links to each article. It sounds more like all this content would only be accessible through the tags page or menu item?

Again, tags only become an issue if using them creates 2 or more links to the same content.


The purpose of creating the content tags would not be any kind of navigation. I would simply create the tags to have a way to filter articles for applying dynamic templates to them.

So for example:

https://www.xxxx.com/blog/packaging
would still only be accessed via
https://www.xxxx.com/blog/packaging

My issue was that I have no knowledge or control over what possible extra URLs Joomla would generate if I created the tag "core" and applied it to that article.

But I went through such hell with duplicate content the last time I used content tags in Joomla so I think I'll just have to figure out another solution for filtering to apply templates (or apply them manually). It's not worth the risk to use content tags I think.

Thank you !
Best regards
Anna R.

Thursday, 30 June 2022 14:50 UTC
wb_weeblr

Hi

That's when you would think a test copy of your site would help, right? Either local on your computer, or on a different domain (that you put behind a password to avoid anyone seeing or crawling it)...

There you can do all experiments you want with no risk, then reproduce on the live site.

Best regards

Yannick Gaultier

weeblr.com / @weeblr

 

 
Thursday, 30 June 2022 15:03 UTC
formfranska

Hi Yannick,

That's definitely a good idea. But the problem (in this specific case) is that I would have to let Google have access or I wouldn't even know about the URLs that Joomla would possible generate. Or is this just due to my lack of knowledge?

When I had the issues last time I was not able to see those "extra URLs" that Joomla generated myself on the website. They only appeared in Google Search Console as duplicate content.

But I'm still grateful for your replies and information.

Best regards
Anna R.

Thursday, 30 June 2022 15:16 UTC
wb_weeblr

Hi

That's definitely a good idea. But the problem (in this specific case) is that I would have to let Google have access or I wouldn't even know about the URLs that Joomla would possible generate.

You could easily use a tool such as ...4SEO to crawl the site and it will find URLs that are found within the site. Then it becomes a matter of searching for article title bits to see if they are found under multiple URL.

Another good tool for that is the Screaming Frog desktop software, a standard software for any SEO practitioner. It's free up to 500 links  and gives you a wealth of information, including all links found and were.

When I had the issues last time I was not able to see those "extra URLs" that Joomla generated myself on the website. They only appeared in Google Search Console as duplicate content.

If Google found them, it means they were present on your site. 

OK, there might be one case where the URLs were actually not present but Google could find them: if you were using a sitemap generator such as JSitemap pro or OSMap pro.

They build sitemaps not based on crawling the site but instead by just looking up the articles in the database and listing them under the "standard" URLs in the sitemap (that's much easier and much faster). If Google then sees the URL in the sitemap, they'll visit it, see that it works and then index it. One of the reasons 4SEO work as a crawler instead of reading items from database.

Best regards

Yannick Gaultier

weeblr.com / @weeblr

 

 

 
Thursday, 30 June 2022 17:09 UTC
formfranska

Hi Yannick,

You could easily use a tool such as ...4SEO to crawl the site and it will find URLs that are found within the site. Then it becomes a matter of searching for article title bits to see if they are found under multiple URL.

Another good tool for that is the Screaming Frog desktop software, a standard software for any SEO practitioner. It's free up to 500 links  and gives you a wealth of information, including all links found and were.

Excellent! Thank you!

OK, there might be one case where the URLs were actually not present but Google could find them: if you were using a sitemap generator such as JSitemap pro or OSMap pro.

Yep, I did use JSitemap pro at the time when this happened.

Thank you so much Yannick. Now I know exactly how to go about a test without risk. Will most definitely try to find time to do this. I'm really grateful for all the knowledge you share 👍🏽😊🙏🏽

Best regards
Anna R.

 

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