This is a really old thread dgenie, I suspect you would have been better served creating a new one.
There is a solution to the front page problem, but for clarity sake lets restate it (for benefit of others reading this post).
Joomla'a front page can be accessed two ways. It can be accessed via your domain name (and directory if applicable) alone ie: http://yourdomainname.com/
, and it can also be accessed via its menu selection which would be some thing like: http://yourdomainname.com/component/opt ... /Itemid,1/
From Google's point of view these are two different pages, which violates Google's duplicated content advisories.
For new sites, all menu items can be removed from the main menu (except front page) and the menu can be re-assigned to a non-used template position (thus it as active, but never display's). The main menu will need to be replaced with something else which would display the main menu items.
Unfortunately, with an older site the url to the front page is already being indexed by the search engines and this won't work. Also, doing this changes the 'itemid' for the items that are deleted from the main menu and added to another, thus creating new urls for each (thus brand new unranked pages for Google). If you really know what you are doing, it is possible to create the new menu and then edit the menu table directly to change each main menu item's menu assignment to the new one and preserve the original itemid.
If you choose to do this to an existing site, it would also be real important to add some code somewhere (fastest in main Joomla index.php - but will have to be re-added with each upgrade) perhaps in a your template's index.php looking for the long form url to the front page component. If this url is requested, the browser can be permanently redirected to the domain name alone (http://yourdomainname.com
). Google will then dutifully assign (in time) the page rank aquired under the long form to the domain name alone.
I would suggest you also be sure that every single page on your site have a link back your domain name alone. I do this by linking the site name at the top of every site back to the domain name alone. I also create a new 'home' link somewhere on each page (in a menu or in the template) that links back to the domain name.
And final word, its not unusual to see pages within a site rank higher than the home page. (1) thats one reason why you want every page to link back to your home page, (2)apparently that page has more high quality links coming back to you from somewhere else and from Google's point of view it earned a higher rank.
Sorry for long response, but its a deep topic.
Good luck !
< -- Developer of samSiteMap component