It drops me out of flow to jump off to another place to read the blog post then come back and reply. Could we pull in the full text or is there a reason to not?
I hear you. The reason that we don’t is because no one was able to definitively tell me whether it would mean that we’d incur a duplicate content penalty for double posting to WP and Discourse.
I’d be interested to hear if @dominic_woodman knows.
If the answer is no, I have no issue posting the whole thing. That would make sense.
@mdfw Good question.
Like Hawk said we’re a little worried about the SEO on this one. I’m thinking actually of not posting them in here at all as they seem to keep showing up in Google results - sometimes ahead of the actual blog post.
Then we won’t have comments/discussions at all either, unless we have them native in WP, which I don’t think is smart given the nature of the content!
If it shows up ahead of the original post in Google it’s still a net win because people click on it, then click on the Read more link and they’re on the blog anyway. The end result is the same.
True, comments on the blog posts are a relatively new thing for us. For about 5 years we didn’t have them for various reasons.
So if it’s hurting our search traffic in any significant way, I’d rather focus instead on making sure we’re reaching as many people as possible and getting more perspectives in here than duplicating my blog posts in the community. Everyone knows where the posts are if they want to read them anyhow.
Hey so if you want to have content in multiple places across multiple sites. The answer is using a cross domain canonical.
Here’s the basic doc’s on a canonical.
And you can do that across domains. E.g.
Article 1 - Feverbee
Article 1 - Wordpress
If you have decided that WP is the more authoritative site which ranks better, then in order to avoid duplicating the content you want to add a canonical to the Feverbee post, pointing to the hypothetical WP one:
So on the Feverbee article you would add to the :
This says - this other piece of content is the true version we want you to rank. This is a duplicate. Take any positive (or negative signals) this one receives and give it to the other one.
That’s funny @dominic_woodman - I was thinking about that very thing this morning and planned to post about it later today. Thank you for beating me to the punch. I know medium uses that very thing.
One option for those posts: if you use discourse as the canonical version, include a link at the bottom to services since you are using them as thought leadership.
Regardless, do what you need to do for your business since you are providing the discussion area for free. I just thought I’d make the request.
Ah yes. I remember now that I’ve been round in circles with this before. We don’t have any control over the links published by Discourse (i.e. we can’t add a canonical link element) BUT there are some already set. They’re are confusing though and I’m not sure if they’re set in the way that we need them.
On WP the source includes this:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.feverbee.com/education/"/>
On Discourse the source includes this:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://experts.feverbee.com/t/educating-community-members/6195" />
Are you able to shed any light? Is this giving precedence to one post over the other? It seems to me that they are both claiming it.
No, but I put a post asking the plugin author about it over on meta.
Seems like this should be an easy thing to add to the plugin.
Nice work sir! Thanks.
I’m the developer working on the WP Discourse plugin. Would having the ability to set the canonical URL of the Discourse topic when you publish a post from WordPress to Discourse solve the problem?
Thanks for jumping in. With my limited knowledge of SEO I believe it would, yes – although where is the current canonical ref coming from on the Discourse post and would this interfere with that in some way?
(And unfortunately I can’t update our Discourse plugin without serious support as we’ve customised it, so I won’t be able to test this for a while).
Is this something that you would need to be able to control for each post, or would a general setting on Discourse (not WordPress) to use the embed URL as the canonical URL work? For your site, the embed URL that is saved on Discourse is the WordPress permalink. If this approach makes sense, it wouldn’t require any changes to the WP Discourse plugin - the change would have to be made on the Discourse end.
Just to clarify – would this mean that the WP post was given preference over the Discourse duplicate? If yes, then correct – a general setting would solve it.
Would updating the plugin as first mentioned make the Discourse post take preference?
As far as whether or not this is a good idea, you’ll have to ask people who know more about SEO than I do.
Here’s Google’s article on Handling legitimate cross-domain content duplication. If this is a legitimate use case for it, then the options are either to change the post’s WordPress canonical URL to the Discourse topic’s canonical URL, or change the canonical URL on Discourse to match the WordPress post.
You can edit a WordPress post’s canonical URL with the YOAST SEO plugin. If you edit it to point at the URL of the associated Discourse topic, then that should give the Discourse topic precedence.
It sounds like what you are looking for is to have the canonical URL on the Discourse topic point to the associated WordPress post. That way the WordPress post would have precedence. To do this would require a change to the Discourse code. Discourse currently saves the embed_url for posts that are published from WordPress. If it made sense to have an option on Discourse to use the embed_url as the canonical URL, I don’t think it would be very difficult to implement.
I don’t know if Discourse would be interested in making this change. If someone can provide some documentation that shows that it would be a useful option for posts that are published to Discourse from another site, then it could be requested as a feature.
What confuses me at the moment is that each Discourse post has a canonical link ref to itself. Any idea why that would be?
Edit to add: this makes sense because you have multiple urls for the same thread (the various posts within all have separate urls). That could make it difficult to make Wordpress canonical.
Ah yes – that does make sense. Perhaps then we make the Discourse link canonical rather than WP. I’ll chat to @richard_millington
Or, if you need the WordPress side to be canonical and the change is easy to implement, as a hosting customer you might be able to get Discourse to do that for you.
By the way, I have appreciated how open this conversation has been. As we discuss our options for new systems, these kinds of questions are going to come up. They are challenging issues that need thought and vendor support. So, thanks!