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Getting multiple URL's to the same page

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Posted
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#97801 (In Topic #19351)
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Well-settled

I noticed that Google is reporting that I have a bunch of duplicate URL's to many (if not most) of the pages in my site.  I picked one page that Google had info on and they are reporting that the following 4 URL's all go to the same page:

pg/cedi/misc/index.php?find=Requirements
pg/cedi/misc/213/213/index.php
pg/cedi/misc/1/3/213/index.php
pg/cedi/misc/213/index.php

Sure enough, when I check them they are all going to the same live page on my site.  Since most of my site is using the wiki+ structure, I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but does anyone have an idea why this is occurring and if it's something that can be fixed?

Thanks!
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Posted
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#97802
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First thing to say, "duplicate URLs" is not a bug. Even when given no other indications, Google will usually simply pick one and ignore the rest. It's very unlikely to be a penalty for Google, and it's not a violation of any web standards.

However: view the page source of these URLs, look at the canonical meta tag. If that is not consistent, then it is something we would try and change. I think it would be consistent though.


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Posted
Rating:
#97805
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Well-settled

Chris,

The canonicals are not consistent.  Below is a list with the page URL first, then the canonical URL from the page source immediately after:

Code


http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/1/3/213/index.php
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc?id=1/3/213 
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/index.php
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/index.php
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/213/index.php
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/213/index.php
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/index.php?find=Requirements
href="http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/index.php?find=Requirements"
 

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Important!
Posted
Rating:
#97809
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Automated fix message

D-Train said

Chris,

The canonicals are not consistent.  Below is a list with the page URL first, then the canonical URL from the page source immediately after:

Code


http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/1/3/213/index.php
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc?id=1/3/213 
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/index.php
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/index.php
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/213/index.php
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/213/index.php
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/index.php?find=Requirements
href="http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/index.php?find=Requirements"
 

This issue has been filed on the tracker as issue #1278, with a fix.


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Important!
 
Posted
Rating:
#97854
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Well-settled

Thanks Chris.  I just installed the new files and will give it a day or so then check the canonicals.  I appreciate the quick response as always.   :thumbs:
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Posted
Rating:
#97910
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Well-settled

Well, it's been a full day so here is an update.  I cleared caches after I replaced the files, so hopefully that helped.  And please let me know if I should wait longer.  But using the 4 URL's above and checking the canonical links for each gives this result (page URL on top, canonical info for that page immediately below):

Code

http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/1/3/213/index.php
"canonical" href="http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/index.php"
 
 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/index.php
"canonical" href="http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/index.php"

 
http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/213/213/index.php
canonical" href="http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/index.php"

http://www.bawiki.com/pg/cedi/misc/index.php?find=Requirements
"canonical" href="http://www.bawiki.com/pg/s/213/index.php?find=Requirements"


Google is now saying that these pages have duplicate title tags:
/pg/cedi/misc/213/213/index.php
/pg/cedi/misc/213/index.php


Which makes me wonder if OCP is keeping 2 versions of the page?

Thanks!
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Posted
Rating:
#97914
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Hi,

The hotfix had partially worked but it seemed there was one further issue (removal of redundant 'find' parameter), plus also a general issue in our canonical URL generation.

I have updated the hotfix.

Which makes me wonder if OCP is keeping 2 versions of the page?

The google messages seem quite alarmist, but actually this is an addressing issue, nothing is truly duplicated. There are multiple ways to address a Wiki+ page, and thus multiple URLs – and Google considers this duplication because ordinarily it has no way to distinguish. This is what the canonical URLs should/will do for you.


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  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#98076
Avatar

Well-settled

As before, I wanted to give it a few days before I followed up.  What I am seeing is that this seems to have reduced the number of problem occurrences, it has not eliminated them entirely.  

I am still finding several page sets (all based on the same content, but different URLs) that have 2 different canonical ID's.

It may be something that just needs to be addressed in a future edition with a re-write of the code.  I have to admit that I don't understand why different access points require different URL's.  Shouldn't it work like any other link and all just point to a single URL?  

But that's probably why I am not a developer.  ;)

Thanks for the help Chris!
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Posted
Rating:
#98078
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I have to admit that I don't understand why different access points require different URL's.

Wiki+ allows you to take different paths to get to the same page, because it's not a fixed tree structure. You can have a page categorised in different hierarchy positions for different contexts. Additionally, one of the URLs is a URL to find a Wiki+ page via running a search. So as you can see, all these different ways of accessing a page, it's an addressing situation.

URLs don't represent the ID of some content, they specify a way to locate it and the parameters passed along to it. Nothing is actually duplicated.

Google won't be penalising, and no web standards are broken. Google only penalises duplicate content in the sense that it will pick one of the URLs, and internally list the others as unranked alternative URLs – which is actually what you want. This actually happens on pretty much every site out there that uses server-side code. The Google warning is helpful information to you, but it's very easy to misinterpret it and think it is some serious SEO penalty, and it really is not.

We do try to help specify the canonical links, but it is more of a pedantic thing to make the messages go away (so you can see the important ones where maybe there really is an issue, e.g. you accidentally publish an article twice).

I can see there is still one inconsistency with how the short URLs are generating. I will take another look at that. It seems a bit more of a complex one.


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  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#98080
Avatar

Hot-fix updated again :).

There's no need to wait to test. The canonical URLs in the HTML update immediately.


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  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#98083
Avatar

Well-settled

Chris,

I'll try the hot-fix tomorrow and let you know.  It's nearly 2am and I have to get to sleep.   :)

On the multiple URL thing, it's probably just a lack of understanding, but I don't understand why it doesn't work like a pointer.

You are saying (I believe) that each path of accessing a specific page results in a different URL.  For example, if I had a "requirements" wiki entry under both a "project management" and "business analysis" entries that this would generate separate URL's something like these:

/wiki/project_management/requirements.php

/wiki/business_analysis/requirements.php

/index.php?search=requirements

What I don't understand is why the wiki+ doesn't have a single entry for requirements like this:

/wiki/requirements.php

And where the entries under project management and business analysis are just pointers (or relationships for lack of a better term) in the form of a normal link?

It seems that by having discreet paths as separate entities to the same content, the structure gets potentially very confused.

Again, I am not a developer and I don't know PHP or much detail about web tech, so I may be completely off-base here and am not criticizing.  I'm just trying to understand the logic of the system.

Thanks!
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Posted
Rating:
#98084
Avatar

The primary reason is breadcrumbs. You want the breadcrumbs to reflect the path back, from the context you have been operating in. The information to facilitate this is therefore in the URL, because HTTP is 'stateless', i.e. nothing that is not in the URL is supposed to really be remembered between requests (there are workarounds, but that does go against web standards ;)).


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  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#98086
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Well-settled

Ahh, that explains it.  And since I could care less about breadcrumbs and don't pay attention to them, I never would have thought of that.

Thanks for the explanation.   :)
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Posted
Rating:
#98125
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Well-settled

Chris,

The cedi.php file in the sources directory of the fix is now a 0-size file.  Can you update it again?  :thumbs:

Thanks
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Posted
Rating:
#98127
Avatar

Well-settled

Uggh, something went wrong and my CEDI pages are throwing this error message:

Missing class: Module_cedi (version: 9.0.7, PHP version: 5.3.22, URL: /pg/cedi/changes)
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Posted
Rating:
#98128
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I have reuploaded. I didn't see any zero byte files in there. Perhaps it was a problem downloading on your end. Also make sure you extract with the exact same directory structure. There are two cedi.php files, make sure they go to the correct places.


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  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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