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How To Deal With Duplicate Content Problems

Official Google Statement

Originally Published: January 2, 2007

What Is Duplicate Content And What Is Not Duplicate Content?

"Forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages, store items shown (and -- worse yet -- linked) via multiple distinct URLs, and so on. In some cases, content is duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or garner more traffic via popular or long-tail queries."

What Does Google Do If It Finds Duplicate Content?

"During our crawling and when serving search results, we try hard to index and show pages with distinct information. This filtering means, for instance, that if your site has articles in 'regular' and 'printer' versions and neither set is blocked in robots.txt or via a noindex meta tag, we'll choose one version to list.
In the rare cases in which we perceive that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we'll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved.
However, we prefer to focus on filtering rather than ranking adjustments ... so in the vast majority of cases, the worst thing that'll befall webmasters is to see the "less desired" version of a page shown in our index."

How Can You Avoid Duplicate Content Problems With Your Web Site?

  1. Tell search engines which pages they should index: If the printer friendly versions should not be indexed, block them in your robots.txt file.
    ( Editor's Note: See Search Engine Spider Control with robots.txt and use our Free robots.txt Creator )

  2. Use 301 redirections: If you restructured your web site, use permanent 301 redirections to redirect users and search engine spiders. [Search Engine Safe HTML Page URL Redirect]

  3. Always use the same links to link to a page on your site: Don't link to /page, /page/ and /page/index.htm if the URLs always display the same web page.

  4. Use top level domains to handle language specific content: If you have German pages, use a .de domain for these pages.

  5. Use the preferred domain feature of Google's webmaster tools: Google allows you to choose if you prefer the www version or the non-www version of your URLs.

  6. Syndicate carefully: Make sure that other web sites link back to your site if they use your content.

  7. Avoid boilerplate repetition and publishing stubs: If possible, don't include the same lengthy copyright text on the bottom of every page. Better use a short version with a link to the full version. If you have category pages without any content, don't publish them.

  8. Understand your content management system (CMS): If you use a content management system, make sure that it doesn't publish the same content in multiple formats.

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October 22 2016 17:52 UTC