Stumble for Wordpress can lead to Duplicate Content

Written by Pavan Kumar on November 27, 2008

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UPDATE: Plugin author Brendon has fixed the bug and there is no need to edit the plugin file in future releases.


Stumble for wordpress is one of the plugins I liked and blogged about. It did its job pretty well by improving the traffic and also kept the visitor engaged on my site providing other page which he may like to read. Recently I noticed a negative impact in using that plugin which I am sharing now so as to help fellow bloggers who use that plugin.

google results page

Have a look at the screenshot taken from google search page and you will notice what I meant. As google crawls all my pages, it also crawls the link at Liked This Article? Read another similar article button. And you might have noticed that by clicking that button you will be lead to a random post which is related to the content of the page you are viewing. But in all cases the resulting page is not the same. It is randomly picked mostly from the top pages / posts among related posts.

It has been long since I am using the plugin and google has already changed its index with all dirty stumble links. Take the example http://www.techpavan.com/?stumble=295. Click on the link twice, and you will see that both are different pages.

What is the impact?

This definitely creates an ill result on organic traffic. But Google search results are not affected in my experience. Google search results will lead to individual posts and those links are normal and not have been changed. Along with them there are links which seem to result the same page like the ones shown in the image. This leads to duplicate content :evil: , Google may feel that I have duplicate content on two pages of my blog. This is very bad taking SEO into consideration.

Bad user experience:

I get a good number of visitors from Google Image Search. And I have observed the same kind of stumbling (?) carried out on my image page locations too. When someone clicks on a particular image on the image results, he has to be lead to the page which contains that image, but the result is "stumbled" and user obviously feels my site as BAD and closes the tab, say you search for iphone stone, how do you feel if I take you to pen drive ram post? – I lost my valuable visitor.

Solution:

importance of nofollow link

Image credits

NOFOLLOW: This is the solution I thought of to get things done now. I did not want to remove the plugin and lose the hits generated by it. I recommend developers to think of this serious issue and include this fix in coming updates. Here is the solution to all who are using the plugin.

  1. Open WP-Admin > Plugin Editor > Open Stumble-for-wordpress/stumble.php
  2. Navigate to function _stumble_auto – better use Find [Ctrl+F] feature in firefox.
  3. Locate the $button=’<div ……….. code, its easy to locate, don’t worry. It is followed by the anchor to which we are going to add the nofollow tag. If you don’t know how to add nofollow tag, follow this procedure:

The code <a href="http://www.techpavan.com">Pavan’s blog</a> when crawled by search engines is considered as link.

But, <a href="http://www.techpavan.com" rel="nofollow">Pavan’s blog</a> is crawled by search engines and is NOT considered as link, its simple text (Pavan’s blog) for search engines.

Here is a screenshot of the plugin code section where you have to edit:

code section of plugin to edit

       

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7 Readers responded to this post

whoa, it’s a good thing you discovered this bug. and although im not a WP user, this certainly is an issue as it can affect your blog’s credibility, badly. good you have a fix. hope this fix is temporary though and the creators resolve this error on their end.

@techniqueal t.

I had a talk with the plugin author and he is going to fix in next update. My traffic used to get CHEATED by this plugin, but with nofollow, it won’t happen. But need to wait for some time as google needs time to update its index.

Done!
I already said that you observe anything very keenly and thats the reason only you discover such things.
Thanks for sharing this coz I too have been using the plugin since you wrote about it.

It would have been great if you would have posted the cosed to change in text instead of image.

Anyways, Good work, keep it up.

@Rohit

Changing it into text other than image or even changing the image is possible for sure. I will write about it soon. Thanks for the appraisal.

Hi,

I just thought I should write and let you now this bug has now been fixed in the latest release, which you can download at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/stumble-for-wordpress/.

Thanks for your keen interest in the plugin and support,

Thanks,
Brendon.

excellent point made!! you have a very sharp eye!

@Brendon
That’s a very good news, you have fixed the bug and helped all the users. Thank you :)

@stratosg

Wow! Thank you :)

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About The Author

    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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