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How To Remove ?Replytocom URL’s from Search Engine Results

Just a quick Tidbit for those of you groovyReaders who run a WordPress Blog.  Today I did a google search and a few groovyPost.com results came back however the first 2 returned were dupes of each other.  Huh, that’s odd and really not good for SEO IE: Dupe Content….

Turns out the second listing (which was the dupe) ended with the URL: /?replytocom=22264.  No idea what the heck that is all about however doing a quick Google Search to see how bad my problem was I did the following Google Search:

?replytocom site:www.groovypost.com

Over 5000 results came back (oh great).  Good news, the fix is very simple.

Recommended Fix

Adding a single line of code to the Robots.txt was the fastest and cleanest method I could think of to block search engines from indexing these dupe strings.  Simply add the following line to the robots.txt file which should be sitting in the root of your wordpress site.

Disallow: *?replytocom

I’m sure you could throw something into your .htaccess file to 301 redirect the traffic to the correct link however I find the update to the robots.txt file is clean and simple and doesn’t add any bloat to your site.

Option 2

For those of you who don’t want to mess with editing your robots.txt file (or don’t know how) then another option is to just install a plugin which I found that redirects BOTS to the correct URL.  It is called the Replytcom Redirector WordPress Plugin.  Just download, install and activate from the WordPress Plugin menu.  Nothing to configure either once you install it.

I updated my robots.txt file tonight so I’ll report back once I see the pages dropping from the Google Search Results so stay tuned.

More Reading:

14 Responses to How To Remove ?Replytocom URL’s from Search Engine Results

  1. Dinesh @ DailyBlogMoney March 21, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    Another way is available for Google only, by changing the option under webmaster tools in Parameters (under settings). This will say Google robots to stop indexing.

    • MrGroove March 21, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      @Dinesh – I thought about that however when I went into Google Webmaster tools and Clicked on Site Configuration, Settings, Parameter Handling. The Parameter ?replytocom was listed and the Action was set to Ignore.

      So apparently this setting was not being honored by the GoogleBot which is why I went the Robots.txt route. For others, perhaps it will work…?? Not sure.

  2. alexmvp March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    I checked google for my blog and I’m fine. Thnx for the FYi tho.

  3. mino March 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    good faster

  4. Edson Bassani March 28, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks for the awesome tip. That is the best way to get it fixed without mess with one more redirect at htaccess. Google Webmaster setting is not working to us and we were concerned about another search engines like Bing and Yahoo indexing this kind of content.

    Thanks again.

    • MrGroove March 29, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      @Edson – Your welcome. I’m glad it helped you guys out. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS Feed or email list for more groovy tips 😉

  5. ShondaG April 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Hi there MrGroove! thanks for the post. I already had Replytcom Redirector on my WP blog; however, it is not functioning. (Note: the disclaimer indicates it has not been tested on my WP version). I am trying your Recommended Fix now. Thanks.

  6. Harsh Agrawal August 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Been ages that I have added Disallow: *?replytocom to my robots.txt but still I see replytocom links in Google..
    Any fix to it? I mean removing all URL’s which includes replytocom parameter from Google search?

    • Dinesh August 30, 2011 at 12:10 am #

      Harsh,
      I did in Google webmaster tools only and it worked perfectly. Now, I don’t see any replytocom links in google search results or webmaster tools.

      If ” ?replytocom ” already set to ignore in webmaster tools, then you have add second parameter “replytocom” also. For me, the second parameter caught the ?replytocom links (it shows sample links in my blog)

      You will definitely see the difference in 2 to 4 weeks. I hope this helps you.

      • Harsh Agrawal August 30, 2011 at 12:44 am #

        @Dinesh
        Is this the setting: http://bit.ly/o3rz4N

        • Dinesh August 30, 2011 at 11:39 am #

          @Harsh,

          Glad to know that’s really you. Because one wrong guy left comment in my blog with your name.

          I’m not sure how my settings prevent the index of ?replytocom, but it works. I’m seeing the difference in your settings than mine.

          Here are the two screenshots.

          http://goo.gl/XcwfM
          http://goo.gl/yoFHM

          Hope this helps you and others.

  7. Philippe Allaire September 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    thank you so much for the quick fix, I download the plugin after you mentioned about it, and all is good now. Thank You

  8. Amit February 10, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    This ACTUALLY HELPS ME ALLOT, i was really upset due to this strange URL’s, Thanks

  9. Elena Calderane February 25, 2014 at 6:17 am #

    You save may time, thx 😀

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