I have been running a little Autoblogging (Don’t worry, I am not stealing your content!) experiment with one of my recent projects. This particular blog had a lot of pages that was indexed by Google pretty fast (say in a day or two) but unfortunately the indexed pages included huge number of auto-generated tags and categories – thanks to the auto blogging plugin settings.
Needless to say, that kind of content will be easily guillotined by Panda because of duplicate post excerpts on huge number of pages. I had to do something pretty quickly to remove them and a quick browse around revealed how to easily remove post category and tag pages from Google Index in ONE EASY STEP.
Remove Category and Tag Pages via Google WM Tools
Initially I was thinking of something more complicated such as using robot.txt and what not. But it was so easy with Google Webmaster Tools and here is how you go about it.
- Login to your Google Webmaster Tools account and click on your WordPress blog (assuming that you have already added your blog to WM Tools)
- Expand the Optimization group and click Remove URLs
- Click the ‘Create a new removal request’ button and enter the URL http://myblog.com/tag/ to remove all tags (and further http://myblog.com/category/ to remove all post categories) from indexing. Click the Continue for each of the above two requests
- That is all! Google will effect the removal of unwanted URLs from its Search index in a couple of days from your request
On the next page, choose the reason as ‘Remove Directory’ from the drop down and Submit
This technique can be used to remove duplicate indexed entries from other CMS based websites as long as they follow directory style URL structure.
Removing categories and tags from Google index has become all the more important with more frequent Panda updates being rolled out by Google every month to axe duplicate content creators.
Setting your categories and tags pages to ‘No Index’ (using your SEO plugins or premium theme settings) is the next logical step to do, if you haven’t already done so.