When you keep the category base ( that is you don't remove it by a plug in) WordPress does allow you to browse to your 2 level deep category in two different ways as the example below would demonstrate it.
say, your category has a top level item "MULTIMEDIA" and a child under it called VIDEO.
Visually, we are talking about a situation like this;
multimedia video audio topics science politics
Well, you may get to that child (video) in the following 2 different ways;
yoursite.com/category/multimedia/video or yoursite.com/category/video
The point here is that WP brings you to the exact same page, regardless of which URL has been used, and there are no redirects here neither, so both URL's remain on the visitor's browser as is just like it was requested at the first place. And with either URL, the resulting content is identical.
That's a hateful situation by Google.
Google punishes such sites cause your web site got the same exact content appearing under 2 different URL's. ( This is of course when you happen to use both URLs. ) Sure, Nobody would want to do that deliberarely but sometimes you end up with that. And this question is all about that case.
Let's say, you wanted to pick the simpler URL for your VIDEO category and you want to stick to that only. Basically, you want the URL to be
This is easy to achieve when you use the custom menu feature that comes with WordPress where you can specify a URL for that particular custom menu item of yours. So, when visitors click on the VIDEO link on the custom menu, they end up coming to
No problems so far...
But as soon as they pick a post out of that category, and they end up coming to a post where the post's meta data displays things like "CATEGORIZED in" or "TAGGED by" etc, they will be exposed to the alternative URL for that VIDEO category.
So, if a user clicks on the VIDEO link in the "Categorized in" area, the URL that they will end up with would be
And with that, there goes your SEO ranking.
My question is what techniques do you use here so WordPress always and always use one single URL, the URL you defined in the custom menu.
I thought, category slugs could do this, but when I checked it, slug feature allows me to change only the category term in the URL, not the path to it.
If it were to give me a choice like
video slug: /category/video
I would be done.
But that choice is not available at this moment. When you do that, you end up with the following slug instead
That's because / is not a valid character for a slug.
Please suggest an alternative way to tell WordPress to stick to /category/video at all times.
Before suggesting the obvious, ( well, just skip the 'multimedia' and make the 'video' a top level cat. ), let me say that that suggestion won't work for our situation.