Search Engine Optimisation Experts

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Duplicate Content SEO

Over the last week the subject of duplicate content has risen its head at Business Services UK

There are many reasons why web pages end up being duplicated, more often than not it’s when a site has been modified or specific pages are updated (URL changes) and the correct procedures have not been carried out.

Google is well aware some websites cannot avoid duplication issues, hence they invented the rel canonical tag. A great addition for webmasters, especially for the online retail sector.

So if we are changing a URL, but the content is to remain the same, how do we effectively carry out the process thus avoiding duplication issues.

An example

www.businessservicesuk/seo+services is being replaced by www.businessservicesuk.com/seo-services

1. Upload the new page
2. Remove all content from the old page (including all meta data and tags), once this removal is complete save the page
3. Carry out 301 action, this informs Google a permanent change has taken place
4. Remove the old page from the site, the URL should now produce a soft 404
5. In Google’s Webmaster Tools remove the old URL
6. Static sitemaps will require updating (XML, ROR, HTML)

If we just want to remove an out of date page we simply

1. Remove all content from the page (including all meta data and tags), once this removal is complete save the page
2. Remove the page from the site, the URL should now produce a soft 404
3. In Google’s Webmaster Tools account remove the URL
4. Static sitemaps will require updating (XML, ROR, HTML)

Often websites are penalising themselves due to duplication issues. If you want to see if Google are indexing the same page of your website multiple times simply type

site:www.websitename.com into the Google search bar, obviously replacing websitename.com with your own URL ;-)

You will see for yourself if there are any issues. Please note it can take several weeks for this data to be displayed accurately

It could be argued, why should I worry about my duplication issues, my site is performing well at this moment in time. This is a solid argument, one I would counter with 2 points

1. How well would a site perform if there were no duplication issues?
2. How would you feel if Google amended its algorithm and overnight your website ranking plummeted?

To that end I feel it’s important to keep on the right side of the fence.

By Peter Arkwright


 

Date Written: Sat, Feb 25th 2012