Add on domain -> duplicate content issue?

Hi all.

Checking through things on my hosting where I have multi domain linux hosting with cpanel... I noted that there were multiple entry points to addon domain directories and sub domains. Every add on domain in a multi domain shared hosting plan is treated as a subdomain. Whenever we create an add on domain it creates a folder in the web root directory and hence can be accessed through the primary domain-slash-addon domain as well.. hence the duplicate content!
So how to get rid of the duplicate content hence generated?
I found this - but the post is a bit confusing.
Seek a definitive guide/advice/tut on this.

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hey @raj,

    Hope you're doing well today :slight_smile:

    I must say that I didn't had encountered this issue before and looking online for answers doesn't help that much.

    My best advice would be to contact your hosting provider as they should be able to give you more info about this and how can it be resolved.

    If there is anyone who experienced this before feel free to jump in :slight_smile:

    Best regards,

  • raj

    Hi Predrag

    Really.. that is your response?!

    I thought this WPMUDEV is a team of more learned people, who will try to find answer by doing things if they already don't know if by reading about it.

    Almost always I have been disappointed by response WPMUDEV team provides and you people continue to call yourself "your expert WordPress team". Which part of this phrase has been justified here?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hey @raj,

    I hope you're well today and don't mind me jumping into this conversation.

    What @Predrag Dubajic was saying is that we really can't do anything about the fact that on your hosting the add-on domains are created with subfolders instead of own, separate directories. I'm not aware of what server is he using or used before but it's very possible that it's not doing this.

    That being said, I have encountered the behavior you described. In fact it's a way many servers with DirectAdmin or cPanel installed work. As you have rightly noticed, this can cause the "duplicate content" issue and it's not really the issue anyone of us would be happy with :slight_smile:

    The article from your post tells a lot about .htaccess stuff and other tools. I believe all these things could be handy but I'd go for a simpler solution. I usually did the following things to prevent "duplicate content" issues in WP and it worked:

    1. Check the theme for links like this:
    <link rel="canonical" href="">

    2. If there are such links, then just skip step 3

    3. Install one of the most popular SEO plugins (check if it supports "Canonical URLs" first) and enable the "canonical urls" (or "canonical links") feature

    4. Build or re-build the full XML sitemap for this particular page

    5. Submit the sitemap to Google Webmasters tools

    I cannot guarantee that it will fully prevent your sites from "duplicate content" issues but it has always worked for me, so I'm telling this from my own experience. Of course, you may also want to check your written content with a "plagiarism checker" tool (such as Copyscape) just to make sure there's no factors involved other than "domain/subfolder".

    I hope this helps!

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