How to Remove WordPress replytocom Urls from Google

By 08-04-2011   BloggingSEOTutorialsWordPress

Remove ?replytocom Urls from Google to remove duplicate content from Google’s index. How to prevent ?replytocom Urls from being indexed by search engines and prevent duplicate content.

Remove ?replytocom Urls

Where do these ?replytocom parameter urls come from? These replytocom urls are created in WordPress blogs which have enabled reply to comments. If you hover over the Reply link below comments, the urls will show in the browser status bar.

I was not aware of this issue till Google Webmaster tools recently pointed duplicate title tags on pages. I have activated Canonical urls on each page, so I thought this should not be an issue, but here is what I saw.

Duplicate page titles

Why was Google indexing these replytocom urls? Upon looking around a little deeper under Site Configuration>Settings>Parameter Handling –  I found that Google Webmasters was tracking parameter handling which we had not observed earlier.

replytocom let google decide

Google was handling the replytocom parameter with the setting “Let Google decide” and obviously Google bots were deciding to index the links. Since Google themselves advise on the page that “Asking Google to ignore these parameters can reduce duplicate content in Google’s index and make the site more crawlable”, the best idea is to Click the Edit link beside this – and set the option to Ignore.

replytocom ignore urls

But what is strange is why was Google not indexing the canonical url in the page and indexing these parameters – wasn’t it the purpose of canonical urls to serve as a guide to the best single url. Now there are several other parameters there which you might decide to ignore and reduce duplicate content on your site.

Another way would be to add the following rule to your robots.txt file

Disallow: *?replytocom

And then there is the Replytocom redirector plugin that deals with bots that do not know how to handle the replytocom parameter as part of a wordpress url – it simply redirects such bots to the correct url, saving CPU  and network resources.

How do you handle WordPress replytocom urls?

25 comments on “How to Remove WordPress replytocom Urls from Google

  1. Albert says:

    Thanks for this tips. But anyway, Google automatically ignored “replytocom” url for my blog.

  2. Fazal @ Make Money Online says:

    good tool. I hate duplicate content and I should make it disappear for real!

  3. Garish Wasil says:

    I was not at all aware of this. Thanks for sharing this, I will check this for my blog now.

  4. Tech Crates says:

    Was aware of this …but as I see the suggestion “Let google decide” I left out !! But will ignore the replytocom parameter now …

  5. Namit Gupta says:

    I was aware about the replytocom problem and was looking for some solution. Thanks for this post.

  6. Hariom says:

    Very nice tip to avoid duplicate content. Such little masterpiece is the only thing that makes a blog apart and professional

  7. QuickOnlineTips says:

    Glad it was helpful information to all of you.

  8. Sucesso Agora says:

    I did not know this …

    Thank you for reporting!

  9. Julian says:

    i think the replytocom has been set to nofollow on WordPress default “comments_template”
    (you can call default comments_template by deleting comments.php)

    however, some WP themes didn’t set replytocom into nofollow, that’s why Google index them…

    CMIIW

  10. Mahendra says:

    oh I have to many replytocom url…. I never noticed that.
    Thanks god for timely figuring out it.I have remoted it immediately by going this step by step information.

    Thanks to QOT

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