Lee Odden

Avoiding TypePad Duplicate Homepages

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

TypePad DuplicateI had a client recently ask me about a blog that was using TypePad’s domain mapping feature and it was causing duplicate homepage URLs for the blog. The first was to http://blog.clientsite.com and the second was to http://blog.clientsite.com/blog/. They were concerted that their Technorati rank and linking efforts were being compromised. And, of course, they wanted a fix.

I did some digging around it and it turns out that it’s the way the domain mapping was setup in TypePad that was causing the issue. It can be fixed, but there are consequences.

In the client’s TypePad account there are actually two blogs, each with a unique URL.

1. http://blog.clientsite.com/blog/
2. http://blog.clientsite.com/my_weblog/

Out of the two blogs above, #1 is set up as the ‘home blog’ meaning that it can be accessed via the main URL (http://blog.clientsite.com/) and the unique URL (http://blog.clientsite.com/blog/).

When the domain mapping was setup, the entire account was mapped to blog.clientsite.com, thus the home and unique blog URLs were included.

If just #1 was mapped to blog.clientsite.com, then no /blog/ folder would have show up.

However, fixing the domain mapping wasn’t going to be easy. The first option was to change domain mapping settings. This would result in all blog URLs changing and the old URLs becoming invalid. The only way to fix the duplicate URL issue, and not break any existing URLs, would be to move the blog to a different sub domain, like weblog.clientsite.com, then setup blog.clientsite.com as a valid hosting account and create 301 redirects for all old URLs to the new URLs. The downside here is that Google may temporarily penalize the new sub domain as it doesn’t have any history.

The issue with duplicate homepages are all in how TypePad’s domain mapping is set up. I really wish TypePad would just 301 redirect the home blog URL to the unique blog URL or vice versa. However, that’s not an option that I saw.

The client decided to just leave things as they are for now. They are planning on moving away from TypePad so any work now would just be short-term. Later this year, we’ll probably move them to a local WordPress install and ensure that there is only one blog URL.

If you have TypePad, and are considering using domain mapping, ensure that you just map the specific blog to your site to avoid duplicate homepages. Granted, if you want to map multiple blogs or other TypePad features to one sub domain, than you can’t avoid the issue and will have to map the whole TypePad account.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. This is also messes with your Technorati settings. One loot at my profile will show that each of my blogs are listed twice.

    My Profile : http://www.technorati.com/people/technorati/foxtucker

    The problem occurs when my domain mapping on typepad is set to the subdomain ie. thumblounge.com/mobile_fun/ but I’ve set up my blog on technorati using the root domain thumblounge.com

    Whenever I post, technorati picks up a ping from the root domain (because I told it to) and from the sub domain because that’s the way domain mapping on typepad works.

    Now while it can’t be avoided if that’s the way you’ve set up domain mapping, ‘technorati support’ will tweak your account, and have it ignore posts from the subdomain, but only after a great deal of pestering.

  2. Yep, it really is a TypePad issue not a Technorati issue. I think we all need to send our requests to TypePad to fix this.

  3. Thomas

    I did spend sometime discussing this with Typepad Support. Back and forth with using their ‘support ticket’ system*.

    The eventual outcome was the suggestion that I export all of my posts, remap the domain and import the messages into the “new” blog. Basically, start again.

    Technically not a big a deal, but with the unavoidable loss of everything in the original sub folder ie /mobile_fun/, I’d lose a lot of visitors and general blog karma.

    So it seems that those of us that weren’t aware of the issue prior to creating our blog(s) are stuck with the tweak by Technorati staff.

    *The support system really sucks if like myself you’re based in the UK. A ticket submitted at 11am GMT will generally get a response at 9pm GMT. Inevitably I end up having to send more info, which doesn’t get a response until 7pm GMT the next day.

    I’m not joking when I tell you you that I have had urgent tickets take 5 days to be resolved.

    My suggestion that they provide out of hours support (for international users) didn’t get the friendliest of responses, and took two days to get to me 🙂

    Still think typepad rocks though. Nobody’s perfect.