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I've got a client who is reporting that unwanted dynamic URLs for static pages are appearing in Google Webmaster Tools. This means that content is being duplicated as far as Google in concerned. How would these dynamic URLs get created (if not deliberately), and how can I prevent this happening again?

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Assuming you've eliminated any links that are being generated by your templates, the bad URLs could come from old Google results, external links, user bookmarks, sent emails, anything really.

You'll need to attack this from two routes:

  1. Adding 301-redirects for old URIs. Detour Pro add-on is the best way to manage these, otherwise you end up with a very long, ugly, hard-to-debug htaccess file.

  2. Ensuring that requests for non-existent URIs return a 404 header. You can do this with conditionals using EE's redirect tag and the channel entries tag's no_results variable and require_entry parameter. This can get fiddly depending on your tag nesting, but many third-party add-ons supply their own prefix parameter or similar that allows them to use their own no_results variable.

Here's another answer with a good overview: Strange URLs appeared in Webmaster tools

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