How ProsePoint Express solves the Google duplicate content problem [seo]
At ProsePoint Express, we are always on the lookout for ways to optimise our user's sites for search engines. Whilst many factors are outside our control such as good content and link building, we do make sure that user sites conform to best practices for the technical aspects of on-site search engine optimisation (seo).
One problem which afflicts many websites on the Internet is the so called 'Duplicate content' penalty. This occurs for a variety of reasons, but the most common instance is when a webpage is available on more than one web address or url.
For example, if you have an article about cats and it is available on two addresses like:
then that is duplicate content. Google thinks these are distinct pages and will assign them to the search engine rankings individually.
Problem is, this is not as effective as if the rankings for both pages were added together. A combined, single ranking would be more powerful and be ranked higher, resulting in more search engine traffic. Essentially, since search engine rankings are logarithmic, the total is greater than the sum of its parts.
To ensure a combined, single ranking, we must solve the duplicate content problem.
For ProsePoint Express users, this is automatically taken care of. ProsePoint Express solves this issue through a combination of methods.
The first method is redirection of web address domains.
A ProsePoint Express site can be accessed through a number of different domains such as:
However, only one is designated as the preferred web address.
Whenever a visitor visits an address which is not on the preferred domain, then ProsePoint Express automatically and correctly redirects to the preferred web address.
This means a ProsePoint Express site only appears to visitors at a single domain.
Unfortunately, redirection cannot solve the duplicate content problem in all cases. For that, another method (which is also automatically implemented within ProsePoint Express) is needed.
Specifying a canonical page
Each page in a ProsePoint Express site contains a reference to its canonical page. This is a link to inform search engines of the preferred version (and url) of the page (which may be itself). All search engine rankings are combined into a single ranking for the preferred canonical page.
For example, the 'About' page of the demo site is available at these two locations:
Both pages have a canonical link to http://demo.prosepoint.net/about, informing search engines that it is the preferred page. Thus, the search engine rankings for both pages would be combined into a single, higher, ranking for http://demo.prosepoint.net/about.
Linking to a canonical page solves the duplicate content issue in all cases. It tells search engines: "Yes, you are seeing duplicate content at X,Y and Z, but they are all versions of X so please attribute the combined rankings to X."
Solved by ProsePoint Express
Solving the duplicate content problem results in higher search engine rankings and therefore, more search engine traffic. It avoids multiple entries of the same webpage appearing in search engines and diluting the search ranking.
ProsePoint Express users don't have to worry about duplicate content because it is automatically taken care of. ProsePoint Express does proper redirection of web addresses, and also includes the canonical link in every page.
(This article was first posted at http://www.prosepoint.net/articles/1029-prosepoint-express-duplicate-content-problem. Permission is given to reproduce and redistribute as long as the article is unmodified and proper attribution is given.)