Provide only one version of a URL and stick to it

Provide only one version of a URL and stick to it

23.Nov.2021

Blogging about blogging is a tedious task - I think that what Aristotle said in the Poetics applies here. He talked about three concepts that are common to all stories: Beginning, Middle & End. I’m not sure how well it will work for this article but let's give it a try.

(Begin) The beginning of the article discusses the concept of webmasters getting penalized for having duplicate content on their site. First, let us define this term "Duplicate Content".

(Middle) Duplicate content means two or more pages whose content is exactly same or very similar to another page(s). For example, if you have an ecommerce website and each product has its own webpage then you would expect 1 URL to show the product image, another to show price & description, one for shipping information and so on. But if you were to put all this information under a single URL - http://www.example.com/product-page instead of using multiple unique URLs like http://www.example.com/product_image/, then that would be considered as duplicate content and it can get your site penalized by Google search engine.

(End) Duplicate content is not something new in SEO world but with time Google has become more intelligent regarding identifying same content issue between multiple pages published on the same domain or even across different domains. So when webmasters are practicing SEO they must be extra careful about their website's architecture, no two pages should have the same content (except for the well-written articles).

(End) That's it! Hope you enjoyed reading. Please leave comments:-)

Article background information [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]: The Content of a webpage should be accessible from only one URL and it should be uniform on the website. It should not occur that the content of a page is available from multiple URL’s, that will give birth to Duplicate content issues and your site may get penalized in the worst case.

So for example, if there is a page on your website – www.example.com/aboutus.html, the content of this page should be accessible from this URL alone and no other URL on the website.

 

Useful web page content should be one HTML page, not two or more pages that are similar to each other. If the purpose of the website is ecommerce related, then there are chances that some pages will have nearly same content on them because they display different products. But this practice can lead to duplicate content issues and Google has better way to deal with such sites.

For example:

If www.example.com/sportware/product-A and www.example.com/sportware/product-B are the same page, but just pointing to different products on an online store then that’ll be considered as duplicate content violation by Google search engine.

The business owner will be thinking that he is helping Googlebot understand the site better by creating such duplicate content but the search engine is smart enough not to like it. So, don’t try any such thing and make sure all your pages are unique and informative for users by implementing following rules:

 

Don’t use dynamic URLs (if possible)

If you need to use dynamic URL then make sure they aren’t the same for all pages. Let’s say your site is about four different sport equipment brands. If the URL is dynamic, you should arrange the product listing pages in a way that it becomes easy for Google to recognize. If you have sportsware brand A, B and C but all of these brands have a different product URL, for example:

Google does not like dynamic URL’s but it is acceptable if the site architecture is properly designed to accommodate this feature.

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