How to remove Replytocom and Comment links from Google index

by Ruchira on June 13, 2013

google-panda

Google Panda algorithm update mainly targets content farming techniques. For a moment forget about the content you stolen from other web sites. Do you know that your own content can affect your rankings because of misconfigurations of your script? For example if you run WordPress web site like I do, sometimes it exposes duplicate pages to google bot. /?replytocom , /?comments=true are a major headache to webmasters. You can check if your site has the same problem by searching this on Google

site:ruchirablog.com inurl:replytocom

That will show all indexed pages with /?replytocom links. This severely affects your Google rankings because duplicates of same page will be indexed on Google search such as /abc , /abc/?replytocom , /abc/?comments=true

If you are using a SEO plugin like WordPress SEO you can set it not to index these links but if you already got those indexed, there is a way to remove this from Google Search.

  • Using url parameters on Web Master Tools
  • Using robots.txt

Don’t do both at once because if you already got some of those pages indexed, setting url parameters to ignore and then setting robots.txt not to index will conflict with each other. To put it simple think that you have set url parameters to exclude those links and if you set robots.txt not to index, Google wont be able to index your site again for removal of those url parameter marked links. This will cause the links not to be removed from the index anytime soon.

If you don’t have ?replytocom links indexed then its fine to follow the robots.txt method to prevent indexing those links on future. And don’t follow the url parameter removal method in this case.

In my case I already have hundreds of those links indexed on Google so here’s how you can set url parameters to deindex those links.

Visit Web Master Tools and then click “URL parameters” under “Configuration”. If you already have those kind of links indexed it will show you the parameters present on your site. Here is mine,

indexed

Now click on “Edit” button on the parameter and here you can change the settings so Google will ignore those links. Below is what your configuration should look like.

 

url-parameters

Click Save button and you are done. Follow the same procedure to ?comments parameter if you want those links to be removed. Google will remove those links from index when it refreshes the search index next time. This will probably take few days or maybe weeks.

Robots.txt method 

If you don’t have any of those links indexed already on Google. You can do this as a precaution. Like I said above DONT do this if you already used the url parameter method.

Add these rules to your robots.txt file

Disallow: *?replytocom
Disallow: *?comments

And you are done.

 

I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
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