Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

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Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Joomalaboo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:50 am

When I checked my website for duplicate content on siteliner I came across the following issue:

One article has two SEF urls:
  • www.creactor.nl/producten/10-training-creatief-denken
  • www.creactor.nl/blog/10-training-creatief-denken
FYI: This article has the category 'producten' and NOT the category 'blog'

The same with this article:
  • www.creactor.nl/producten/20-workshops/40-team-creativiteit
  • www.creactor.nl/producten/40-workshop-team-creativiteit
FYI: the categories 'producten' and 'workshops' are at the same level in the categories hierarchy.

First of all, I do not understand why Joomla has generated these two versions.
And second, how do I correct this?

Thank you so much for your help!

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby itoctopus » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:12 am

This is a common problem with Joomla. It will check only the last part of the URL to generate the page. You can replace "producten" with anything (like "tomato", for example), and the URL would still work.

Of course, this does not provide an answer to your question, but the real question is how did the URL with the "blog" get indexed. Maybe this article belonged to the blog category at one point.

If you're having a problem with just a few articles, then you can just have a 301 redirect from the wrong URL to the correct one. You can always use canonical links.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:33 pm

Use Joomla 3.8 and enable "experimental" routing in the integration tab of the article component.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Per Yngve Berg » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:48 pm

'producten' is probably a Menu Item.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Joomalaboo » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:58 pm

Hi Itoctopus, Per and Hackwar, thanks for your help. It took me a while to respond. Sorry about that, I've had some busy weeks.

@Per: Yes that is correct. 'producten' is a menu item and 'workshops' is not. Do you know of any alternative options to take care of the issue?

@Hackwar: Thanks for the tip. I first want to try that option out on a local stack. I understand that the urls change. That would mean that backlinks no longer work.

@itoctopus: You write 'You can always use canonical links'. I've read that on several forum posts. But I don't know what is meant by that. Can you elaborate a bit more?

Thanks all for your help, I really appreciate it a lot!

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:47 am

Joomalaboo wrote:@Hackwar: Thanks for the tip. I first want to try that option out on a local stack. I understand that the urls change. That would mean that backlinks no longer work.

For 99% of all Joomla installations, the URLs wont change.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Leftfield » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:45 am

@Joomlabamboo

I know this wont help much, but with that kind of problem anything helps.

We have tried to resolve that problem and we had the same problem even with nice URLs and latest fantastic (in every positive way) sh404SEF. After many weeks trying to figure out, somehow, one day, and we have no idea why and how, duplicate URLs disappeared. Maybe new version of sh404SEF, we don't know.

One thing might helped: sh404SEF can catch similar URLs and redirect wrong URLs to the correct ones.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Joomalaboo » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:21 pm

Thanks @Letfield. That's a redirect solution right? Only then an extension does it. I'll look into that one.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:24 pm

Or you could simply do what I wrote and which does what you want...
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby itoctopus » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:27 pm

I would go with Hackwar's solution. If you go with the sh404SEF solution, there is no turning back. By the way, the "Similar URL" plugins can cause severe performance issues on large sites.

For canonical URLs, you will need to do a quick Google research for "Joomla canonical". There are quite a few extensions that can do that for you.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Leftfield » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:24 pm

itoctopus wrote:If you go with the sh404SEF solution, there is no turning back. By the way, the "Similar URL" plugins can cause severe performance issues on large sites..

We got huge site, working like a charm. Please provide some statistic. I am curious.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby lefteriskavadas » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:31 pm

Hi,

You can also try the Route 66 for Joomla extension which can handle duplicate URLs for you.

More information at https://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/extension/site-management/sef/route-66/.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:40 pm

Or you can do what I wrote above, which still fixes the issue better than the extensions that were otherwise mentioned here. All those extensions are just messing around with the symptoms, while setting the right switches would fix the actual problem. But what do I know? I just worked on that stuff for 8 years...

Regardless: if you use a third party extensions, you are stuck with them. You can not simply drop that extension (like sh404 without losing most of your links and thus your ranking.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby lefteriskavadas » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:50 pm

Hackwar wrote:Or you can do what I wrote above, which still fixes the issue better than the extensions that were otherwise mentioned here. All those extensions are just messing around with the symptoms, while setting the right switches would fix the actual problem. But what do I know? I just worked on that stuff for 8 years...

Regardless: if you use a third party extensions, you are stuck with them. You can not simply drop that extension (like sh404 without losing most of your links and thus your ranking.


No offense, but i don't really get the point on this. I have also been working with Joomla for more than ten years. I was also for several years the developer of K2. But i am not mentioning this in every post. I also try to let users make their own decision.

Extensions do exists for a reason: To make things better where core fails or isn't in a good point yet.

Regards

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:23 pm

lefteriskavadas wrote:
Hackwar wrote:But what do I know? I just worked on that stuff for 8 years...

Regardless: if you use a third party extensions, you are stuck with them.


No offense, but i don't really get the point on this. I have also been working with Joomla for more than ten years. I was also for several years the developer of K2. But i am not mentioning this in every post. I also try to let users make their own decision.

Extensions do exists for a reason: To make things better where core fails or isn't in a good point yet.

Sorry, talking about my work with Joomla was indeed not necessary here. And yes, extensions exist for a reason and exactly the reasons that you listed. However since the release of Joomla 3.8 and after my initial post here, people kept proposing extensions that were neither necessary nor solved the underlying issue, while Joomla 3.8 does exactly this. Joomla 3.8 does a great job of only accepting one SEF URL per article/contentitem/page and it also only creates one URL per such thing (as long as you did not purposefully broke your site yourself). 3.8 also does this in a pretty performant way. There are several more reasons why the solution in 3.8 is a good solution for the original problem, mainly all those reasons why a foundational fix of the problem from the manufacturer is better than a cover-up by a third party. Don't get me wrong, the work from the devs of the above mentioned extensions is not bad, but they dance around the problem instead of fixing it. Joomla has fixed the main problem in 3.8 (and improved on it in 4.0) and thus made a large part of these extensions obsolete.

All that said, still promoting these extensions to solve an issue that Joomla itself has already solved in a better way, makes me angry and that is why I reacted the way I did.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Leftfield » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:30 pm

@Hackwar
Can you please explain me (I am all ears) the new version fixed permanently or improved? Not arguing, just trying to get it clear. I am gonna try now.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:21 pm

Joomla 3.8 introduced an improved routing, which you can enable for each core component separately in its configuration. See the integration tab and enable modern routing.

This new routing uses improved ways to generate the right url and it is a lot stricter in what is a valid url. All that results in just one url per page being generated and when parsing the url, false ones correctly get a 404, instead of the current situation with rather random content instead.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby leolam » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:47 am

The new routing system, mainly developed by Hackwar, makes all the SH404/Mijosef etc completely redundant. Additional explanation https://docs.joomla.org/J3.x:New_Routing_System (gives the good examples)

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Leftfield » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:07 am

Thanks @Hackwars, Thanks @Leo

Tested last night. Nice work @Hackwar! Nice indeed. Uau!

@offtopic
Haven't seen that news portals are using IDs with category name && article ID. It would be wonderful to have option to choose one ID (why several?) in the URL. For our news portal we are using one ID at the beginning of the articles but not with category. Now it is huge problem - we can not remove 3rd party extension used by years, we can not use Joomla routing system.

We (Joomla) have URLs problem for more then a decade. Please make it once for good. IDs (or Date) like option at the beginning or at the end of the article URL. <3. Personally, never ever had experience that category needs ID in URL.

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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby Hackwar » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:13 am

Enable modern routing, enable removal of IDs.
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Re: Two SEF urls for one article - duplicate content

Postby lefteriskavadas » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:16 pm

The new router system is clearly a step forward for Joomla. But extensions do have room here.
The new router system cannot produce URLs like :
    yourdomain/year/month/alias
    yourdomain/just-alias
    yourdomain/custom-word/alias
And the list goes on... Also keep in mind that such functionality is already in the core for the competition.

Here is a blog post about the new Joomla router explaining the reasons you might need a SEF extension.


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