Ever since the Google Panda was unleashed in April 2011, it has been essential to use unique, relevant, and well-written content across all pages of your site. This is essential so that Google can determine that each page of your site is of high quality and is unique. Not having enough content on your pages can result in duplicate content issues, however, if you have the same pages of your website available on multiple URL’s you will also end up with duplicate content issues. If Google determines that you have duplicate content on your site, it will decrease the overall value of your site – not just the pages it sees at duplicates.

Here’s how you can easily overcome duplicate content issues caused by duplicate pages:

Check For Duplicate Pages

Here’s an example of a website with four copies of their homepage:

http://yoursite.com.au/

http://www.yoursite.com.au/

http://yoursite.com.au/home

http://www.yoursite.com.au/home

Homepage duplicate issues often stem from URL’s both with and without “www”, and a “/home” URL for their homepage. The “/home” is often created on websites with a “Home” button in their main navigation. If you want a “Home” button in your navigation, just link it to the standard homepage URL to avoid causing any issues.

Fixing the Problem

Overcoming this problem is simple. Choose one URL for your homepage and apply 301 redirects on all other pages. You would never use a “/home” URL for your homepage, and as far as SEO goes, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to use “www” or not, but you must keep it consistent across the entire site – you don’t want your “Contact” page to have “www” when your homepage doesn’t!

http://yoursite.com.au/ – your homepage

http://www.yoursite.com.au/ –  301 redirect to http://yoursite.com.au/

http://yoursite.com.au/home  –  301 redirect to http://yoursite.com.au/

http://www.yoursite.com.au/home  –  301 redirect to http://yoursite.com.au/

Now check all pages of your site to see if you can access them all with and without “www”. If you can access other pages through multiple URL’s, choose the URL you want to keep and apply 301 redirects on all other pages.

To save time here, you can choose to apply a “wildcard” which will automatically redirect all unwanted URL’s to suit your chosen structure.

Still getting duplicate content issues after this fixing this problem? Look out for my post on the Search Factory blog next week to find out what you can do next!