Duplicate Content and URLs: Best Practices 2017
Duplicate Content can simply be described as having the same content om a website. Google frowns heavily on duplicate content!
Fact: Majority of website owners are not aware of this issue hence they tend to lose traffic and rankings in the process.
Duplicate contents can appear in so many ways. It could be as a result of the type of CMS (Content Management System) used, pagination issues, URL parameter issues, copying content online in order to publish, and more. One of the major duplicate content issue is when there are two versions of your website - "www" version and "non-www" version. Most website owners are not aware of this.
How To Fix Duplicate Content Issues
There are several ways to fix the issue of duplicate content, we will show you the basic and simple ways of fixing it
1. Canonicalization: This is one of the easiest ways of fixing the duplicate content issue by using the "rel=canonical tag". This tells web crawlers or spiders that this is the preferred version of my site or content. Assuming you have a content on this URL
www.rupheezy.com.ng/ and www.rupheezy.com.ng/index.html/
Here we have two different URLs with the same content, hence there is a case of duplication.
FIX: All you need to do is a line of code using the canonical tag
<link rel = "canonical" href="www.rupheezy.com.ng" />
EXPLANATION: This tells the web crawler or spider that the preferred URL is www.rupheezy.com.ng, hence No more duplicate content issue.
2. Redirection: This can be broken down into a 301 redirect or a 302 redirect also known as Permanent or Temporary redirects respectively. Once a case of duplication is noticed, you can add a redirect from the duplicate URL to the preferred URL. This is more technical than writing simple codes. This can be done in the htaccess file on your web server.
3. Robots txt File: The robots txt file is one of the ways you can control how webcrawlers access your site. Using the disallow command in the file, you can block robots from accessing or crawling your website. All you need to do is apply a Disallow command on the duplicate URL and that fixes the issue.
4. Using the Noindex Tag: This is a Robots Meta tag that tells web crawlers not to index the page. This way it won't be seen as a duplicate content.