Google likes it when you don’t feed it pages that have very little (or duplicate) content.
It also likes it when you don’t give it a bunch of content it’s seen before. If you absolutely have to post duplicate content (from your website or elsewhere) it’s really important to let Google’s crawler know with a little rel=”canonical” tag in the header of the site like so:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://hookagency.com/de-index-thin-duplicate-content">
Now the most common ways people with WordPress get duplicate content – is tags, category and author pages. Using the Yoast SEO Plugin, you can make sure these are not indexed though.
First make sure in Features > Advanced Settings Pages is Enabled:
Now under Yoast in the Sidebar – Choose Titles & Meta’s
For any posts where you have thin content – you’ll want to de-index those pages. In my case we have a ‘Coolest Designs’ page, which is a listing of cool designs, but the posts themselves have VERY thin content, so we don’t want Google to index those, perceive our site as low value because of the lack of content – and count that against the rest of my site – so we’ll switch the setting over to noindex.
Now what about Duplicate Content?
By de-indexing categories and removing them from your XML sitemaps – like so, you can reduce the probability Google will find these types of pages redundant. The main reason you’d want to do this is that your content may be getting crawled on those pages.
How to check for Duplicate content that’s already indexing
You can do a site search on your website in Google like so – “Site:yoururl.com” – so for instance that turns up for my site:
Now if you want to temporarily remove what of these URL’s go to Google Search Console – Click Google Index > Temporarily Hide > and enter the URL you want to hide (The work we did de-indexing and removing these URL’s in YOAST above would help them stay de-indexed long term.)
Lastly – and most simply of all, avoid thin content by NOT WRITING SHORT POSTS – or Adding content to posts that are too short, and getting to at least 350 words per blog post. Also – if you have products on your site, you want to try to hit at least 350 words in the product descriptions.