Totally blown away that the default behavior of Magento is to literally duplicate product pages into 2, 3, 4, 5 different URL's. This is a horrible violation of the "duplicate content" rule with google, and because of this, my store has suffered massive ranking losses. Just now, 7 months later, I realized what was happening, and I am pretty upset by it.
I disabled "Use Category Path for Product URL's". That fixed the problem. Now the product page is the same URL across the site.
But Magento failed to create 301 redirects for the other URLs. There are still 4 URLs out there for each product, and i can navigate to them manually. This means Google will continue to have those duplicate pages in its index, and will continue to penalize me.
How can I get the proper 301 redirects in place? There is no way I can do it manually. Magento should manage this. Just like Wordpress and Yoast do. The minute I disable Category Paths, magento should generate all the necessary 301 redirects to eliminate the old URLs.
You are right, this issue with duplicate content is severe in Magento.
There are 2 options for you:
1. You can create a plan of all the needed redirects and implement them manually. It is possible but requires lots of time.
2. You can use an extension - Unique Product URL - which is specifically created for the purpose of solving the issue in duplicate product URLs.
You can also check if your site has other types of duplicates, here is a guide on it https://amasty.com/magento-unique-product-url.html
Thank you -
One question though - the plugin would be *instead* of the magento "Category Path" option in the admin, right?
The problem of duplicate URLs/content/pages is resolved by simply switching Category Path off.
The problem is the lack of redirects afterwards.
So does this plugin handle 301's after I switch the admin option?
Or does it attempt to perform the same function as the admin option?
More importantly, who is making these decisions in the Magento development team?
"Lets create a tons of duplicate content as the default! Then if someone wants to turn it off, lets NOT create any 301 redirects!"
I'll try to answer your questions one by one:
One question though - the plugin would be *instead* of the magento "Category Path" option in the admin, right? - No, the extension options are accessible through Configuration - SEO Single URL (you can see it in the backend demo)
So does this plugin handle 301's after I switch the admin option? - No, if you choose not to show the categories paths at all, no redirects will be applied. Initially the extension was created for those who need those paths.
Or does it attempt to perform the same function as the admin option? - The process is the following: you enable showing category path in product URLs via native Magento setting found under Configuration - Catalog - Search Engine Optimization. Then you go to the extension settings and choose which category path should be chosen as the main one: either the shortest or the longest. Then you set the option "301 Redirect to Canonical URL" to Yes.
Also you may not need to set 301 redirects if you set canonicals on the URLs you don't want to be indexed. In your case the canonicals should point to the product pages without categories.