Duplicate content refers to content that appears in more than one location on the internet. Search engines like Google frown upon duplicate content as it can lead to a poor user experience. To prevent duplicate content, there are a few methods that can be employed.
- Canonicalization: This involves specifying the preferred version of a web page that search engines should index. This is done by adding a “canonical tag” to the header of the web page. For example:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/page1">
This tells search engines that (https://www.example.com/page1) is the preferred version of the content.
- Redirects: If there are multiple versions of the same content, you can redirect one URL to the other using a 301 redirect. This will pass the SEO value of the old page to the new page. For example:
Redirect 301 /page1.html https://www.example.com/page1
This redirects visitors from page1.html to (https://www.example.com/page1.)
- Use of parameters: If your website uses parameters, you can use Google Search Console’s URL Parameters tool to tell Google which parameters to ignore. This prevents duplicate content from appearing in search results. For example, if your website uses parameters to track session IDs, you can tell Google to ignore them using the URL Parameters tool.
- Unique content creation: Creating unique and original content is the best way to prevent duplicate content. Avoid copying and pasting content from other sources, and always give credit when quoting or using someone else’s content.
Examples: Let’s say you have an e-commerce website that sells t-shirts. You have the same t-shirt available in different colors. To prevent duplicate content, you can:
- Use canonicalization to specify the preferred version of the t-shirt’s product page, for example:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/tshirt-blue">
- Use redirects to redirect visitors from one color version of the t-shirt to the preferred version, for example:
Redirect 301 /tshirt-red https://www.example.com/tshirt-blue
- Use the URL Parameters tool in Google Search Console to tell Google to ignore parameters related to color.
- Ensure that the product descriptions for each color are unique and original, even if the product is the same. Avoid copying and pasting descriptions from other sources.