If you run a large website, there is a good chance that you may have duplicate content on some of your pages. This can usually occur when you have pages that can be reached by different paths through your site. For example, if you have a store on your website, chances are you have products listed in different categories. If a customer can follow a path to reach a specific item that is listed in two categories, you have two pages that will be very similar, if not the same, at the end of the path.
In order to avoid this, there are some steps you and your SEO company can take to make sure that search engines do not crawl your duplicate content, so that your website will be properly indexed and easy to navigate for users.
Ways that SEO companies can fix this issue
An SEO company can help you fix problems that may arise with duplicate content in a few ways. First, they can block the pages from a crawler’s view with Robots.txt. A crawler will be directed away from the duplicate page, but any outside links to the excluded page are not seen either, which can hurt your SEO efforts.
Another way to resolve the issue is to employ the “noindex/follow” in your Meta Robots tag. This will tell the crawler to not index your duplicate page but to still follow the links found there, which alleviates the problems from the first method. The only issue here is that people are unsure if this method actually works or not.
A 301 redirect will tell bots to take the information of the duplicate page and apply it to another page that it is redirected to (which should be one of the duplicates). This merges all of your duplicates down to one page to be added to the index. If you decide to use a canonical link tag, you will enhance the user experience by getting the benefits of a 301 redirect without having a user see they are redirected.
In the end, it is wise to do something about your duplicate content so you can further your SEO efforts, and a good SEO company will help you achieve this. You should be able to enhance the user experience and be indexed properly in search engines in no time!
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