Support » Fixing WordPress » Changing permalinks : what about duplicate content ?

  • Resolved gabier


    I changed the permalink structure from the default one /?p=nnn to a prettier one /Year/month/title. WordPress did indeed write in my .htaccess file the following code.

    # BEGIN WordPress
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
    # END WordPress

    When testing the URLS, both structures work, the old et the new, although I do not see any redirection from the former the the later, but only a redirection of the old one (“wrong” url) to the wordpress index page (if I interpret correctly). Does WordPress does the job internally to redirect each old structured request, so that there is no duplicate content from the bots point of view ?

    🙂 Gabier

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Not exactly, but there is a plugin that can help.

    Hello jimisaacs,

    Thank you for answer. I will consider this plugin, but I have seen in its description/FAQ that “The plugin works in a similar manner to how WordPress handles permalinks “, thus I am not sure it solves my problem.

    My problem is not to make the redirections easier, but to be sure that WordPress handles the permalink change as the redirection of a changed URL so that Google and other robots know it is a changed URL and not a duplicate content.

    More precisely, when receiving a request with an “old” URL, does WordPress send back the correct page because it has translated internally the “old” URL into the “new” one, or a 301 error with the alternate (“new”) URL ?
    The later way is correct, and in this case there is no problem. The former way is bad because the user (which can be a robot) has no way to relate the old and the new url. Both work and thus it is labeled as “duplicate content”.
    I would expect WordPress to behave the right way, but I could find nowhere a description of its action in this case.

    🙂 Gabier

    If your old URL was
    The new URL is

    When a request for ?p=55 is made it “should” redirect you to the correct page/post, it’s always worked that way in my experience.

    Hello t31os_

    Yes, of course it redirects me to “”, but my point is :

    If the correct/new url is “” and my browser sends a request with “” (old url), does wordpress

    1. sends back directly the page with the post #55 as if the correct url had been sent ?

    2. sends to my browser a 301 error with the alternate URL “”, and then my browser automatically sends a new request with the correct URL.

    The result for the user is the same, but for a robot it is not the same. Because in the case 1 the requests with old or new URL both work independantly, and then it is “duuplicate content”, a situation that robots do not like, I have been said.

    Is that clear ? I have not found the answerin the codex or forums that is why I ask the question.

    🙂 Gabier

    You will not suffer from duplicate content penalties. Without writing a long post on the technicalities, it’s not an issue.

    Honestly me, i’m not sure, i don’t know enough about robots or how WordPress handles the redirection to answer you definitively.

    Gary seems confident there isn’t a duplicative content issue though, perhaps he knows something i don’t, which shouldn’t be too hard, i only know what i know (which is far from everything WordPress).

    Thank you Gary Barrett

    I will take you at your word.

    Maybe you have a link to the “technicalities” somewhere ? Or just give me a hint ? I like to understand things if they are not too complicated.

    🙂 Gabier
    Matt Cutts recommends using 301 redirects and the rel=canonical tag to avoid the issue, you’re doing both automatically by using WordPress

    Thank you Gary Barrett, very interesting stuff.
    I have found the rel=canonical tag in the posts’ pages of my blog! It seems to work as you said;

    🙂 Gabier

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • The topic ‘Changing permalinks : what about duplicate content ?’ is closed to new replies.