So you think your lovely website might have a duplicate content issue? Well you’ve come to right place. Today we’re going to show you have to discover if Google has indexed duplicate URLs for the same web page.
Free Tools to Help you Find Duplicate Content Issues
- Google Site Search – type “allinurl:mydomain.com/page-slug/?r=” or “allinurl:mydomain.com/page-slug/&lid=” or something similar (with the preliminary tracking code portion included) into Google and discover duplicate URLs for the same page
- Google Webmaster Tools – Google’s own attempt to help you fix issues with your website, including duplicate content issues (meta titles and descriptions)
- Virante Tool – this will check for www/non-www versions, current Google cache, potential Page Rank dispersion, page similarity, and proper 404 implementation
- Xenu – this handy tool will check your website for broken links and you can also use it to sort the results by URL and Title in order to check for duplicates
How to Resolve Duplicate Content Issues?
Now that you’ve spent some time uncovering your duplicate content issues, there are some clear steps that you can take if you just put in a little effort:
- Implement the canonical tag if you have duplicate URLs due to tracking code, session IDs, etc. How to do this? Read our post, “SEO & the Canonical Tag.”
- Assess your pagination strategyif you have duplicate meta-tag titles and descriptions for paginated pages.
- A quick solution is to append the meta-tag title and description of each paginated page with something unique for each page (i.e. – “Page 2:”).
- Or, create actual, separate pages for each paginated page. You could also consider not paginating (although you could lose some valuable “views per visitor” user engagement stats.
- For blog category pages, consider using the “noindex” tag to avoid having different versions of your category pages (which have deep pagination if you blog a lot).
- Read this great article from SEOmoz for more information.
- Redirect different versions of your home page URL to a single URL (i.e. – www.mydomain.com & www.mydomain.com/index.html)
- On a side note, perhaps you find that other websites are stealing your entire web page’s content. This is a big “no no” if you haven’t given them permission to do so. To test, search for a specific sentence from one of your pages in quotes in a Google search, and if you find other websites stealing your content, reach out to them with a cease & desist but also offer to allow them to post a snippet of your content with a link back to your full web page. This can also be a great link building strategy. In essence, it’s content syndication.
For more information, read the detailed guide to Duplicate Content SEO.