Google Duplicate Content SEO Tips

Google link structure tips

As a forewarning, there’s enough information regarding duplicate content to write an entire book. I’ll just be highlighting the main points to avoid drowning you in text.

How To Avoid Google Duplicate Content Penalties

Duplicate Content Problems:

1.) Duplicate content on your own website splits link juice and can also create keyword confusion between pages.

2.) Search Engines think http://yourdomain.com and http://www.yourdomain.com are different websites with identical content.

3.) Google panda updates have paid particular attention to penalizing websites with duplicate content.


Duplicate Content Solutions:

1.) Internal Link Structure – For a new website this is crucial. Make sure to stay consistent on how you link throughout your site. Always stick to either a www or non www format. It’s also good practice to choose a format with or without a trailing slash for each link (yourdomain.com VS yourdomain.com/). Even though Matt Cutts has stated in an interview that Google has become very good at looking past this trailing slash discrepancy, it is helpful to create a plan early on and then stick with it.


2.) 301 Redirects – 301 redirects are hands-down the best way to tackle this linking problem. For the example below the code redirects anyone trying to enter http://synactable.com/ to the desired URL site http://www.synactable.com/. It will also fix backslash discrepancies.

Using 301 redirects to fix duplicate content problems.

Search Engines see this redirect and credit the majority of incoming link juice to the right page. The only downside is you need to have access to your server’s .htaccess file in order to accomplish it.


3.) Canonical URLs – This code is placed into the head tag of a webpage and it acts like a flag to search engines. The code lets search engines know which URL should be credited with the page content and incoming links.

Fixing duplicate content with a rel canonical header link.

Canonical URLs are particularly important to use when running blogs. There are many times when the same page of content ends up with multiple URLs. Examples include the URL of a page after accessing it from a tag, category, or date. The Canonical URL allows all of these pages to remain functional while also alerting search engines which URL is considered the original content.

It’s also very important to make sure all internal links point to the main URL instead of any variations that were created.


4.) Webmaster Tools – Most search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing have Webmaster tools. These tools are a great medium between webmasters and search engines. Google has a specific place to declare if you would like the www or non www to be the URL used.

The Google webmaster tool option to fix duplicate content.


5.) Sitemaps – Make sure to submit an updated xml formatted sitemap to each search engine’s webmaster tools. This will let them understand which pages to look for and how you prefer the URL to be seen. One of the easiest way to create an xml sitemap is through a free sitemap generator.


Feb 14, 2012 | Comments: 1

 

One Response to “Google Duplicate Content SEO Tips”

  1. Its a good thing you shared this difference between display URLs. I have been using the without www type for sometime already and never knew this. Thanks also for mentioning about sitemaps. I am sure this would do wonders for my site.


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