How to Avoid Duplicate Content in Google

February 11, 2009 in SEO Copywriting | Comments (0)

What is Duplicate Content?

Some people argue that even if there are 2 separate websites, if they are duplicate, at least one of them will be penalized. In my research, if the duplicate content is on 2 separate domains, there is no penalty. However, there are other reasons to avoid duplicate content, especially within the same domain.

Reasons to Avoid Duplicate Content:

  1. If you have 2 versions of the same page on your domain, your link juice will be cut in half
  2. In many instances google will simply ban one or both of the duplicates.

How to Avoid Duplicate Content in Google

First, you have to realize what duplicate content is, and think like a search engine. Here is a mistake that triggers duplicate content penalties:

http://expert-marketer.com/

http://expert-marketer.com

http://expert-marketer.com/index.php

http://expert-marketer.com/?path=foo

Likewise, all of these are considered a different URL too:

http://www.expert-marketer.com/

http://www.expert-marketer.com

http://www.expert-marketer.com/index.php

http://www.expert-marketer.com/?path=foo

When using blogs or other CMS, there is often a url rewrite too, these pretty urls are very helpful from turning content from this:

http://expert-marketer.com/?postid=123

into

http://expert-marketer.com/super-keyword-here/

However, if you can visit both pages at the same time, they will likely get penalized.

This article is simply to make you aware of what duplicate content is, and how you can do some manual tasks or thought processes to avoid duplicate content.

To truly get rid of duplicate content, you will need to use a 301 redirect in some cases. For now though, make it a point to link to and within your own site to a single url for all of your domains & pages, for example stick to:

http://expert-marketer.com/

I choose to drop the www always, and to keep the trailing slash. I cannot prove that either of these is the best, but it is consistent and that is what has been proven to help the most.