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Using Canonicalization to Eliminate Duplicate Content

Web sites often make identical HTML content, PDF or other files accessible using different URLs. Perhaps you have a retail site that sells watches. You might have your more expensive watches advertised in various places on the web through different links.Each of the following links point to the same content:

http://www.watches.com/products/womens/cartier/
http://www.watches.com/category/watch-ladies-cartier/
http://www.watches.com/cartier/wristwatch-womens/

Though canonicalization can be a bit difficult to understand, it is essential to know a few facts about this in order to create an optimized website. Anytime a page of content appears on the web in several locations with different URL’s, the search engines have the task of deciding which version of the content to show to users. This is definitely a duplicate content issue that many website owners deal with.

When forced to choose which piece of content is more relevant, a search engine may not get it right. But the real loss here is in link juice or ranking power. If done incorrectly, link power can be reduced to a mere 10%.

The trick here is in learning to use canonization to control how these URLs appear in search results. By picking a canonical or preferred URL, you can tell Google which page is the preferred version. When you do this correctly, then you consolidate properties, such as link popularity. The end result is that you won’t lose link juice because of duplicate content.

There are a number of ways to indicate your preferences to Google. By doing so, you can ensure that your page of content won’t lose much of its linking power. After all, once you’ve worked hard to optimize each page of your site and gotten your on-page SEO nearly perfect, it would be a shame to lose out due to duplicate content penalties.

Method #1:301 Redirects. If a page can be found at multiple URL’s, then it’s a good idea to pick one of them as you canonical or preferred. A 301 Redirect will send all traffic from other URL’s to the one you specify. 301 status code means a page has moved permanently to a new location. When you use the 301, this preserves 90% of your juice power as opposed to only 10% with a 302 (temporarily moved) Redirect.

Method #2: Set your preferred domain. This lets Google know which version of your website’s URL you prefer.

Method #3: Parameter Handling. Use this to tell Google which parameters to ignore.

Method #4: Indicate canonical preferences in the Sitemap. This method isn’t guaranteed to work, but it does let Google know which pages are most important.

Method #5: Specify a canonical link in your HTTP header. This involves configuring your server to indicate the preferred URL for HTML documents.

Adaptivity Pro gives you professional Utah SEO services that you just can’t find anywhere else. We let you choose the level of service that’s best for your business. Our UT web design firm can build and maintain a high-end website that is optimized for search engines and guaranteed to appear high in SERP’s.

For busy company owners who have no time to maintain their site and post fresh blog content each week, Adaptivity Pro also provides a service that includes those features. You won’t ever have to worry about your web site again. Our experts will keep it running smoothly and make sure that there’s always fresh, optimized content on there for your site visitors.  At Adaptivity Pro we partner with businesses to increase their sales with a professional looking web site that consistently ranks well. For professional Salt Lake City SEO, choose Adaptivity Pro.

Article Provided By:
Adaptivity Pro Web Design
Salt Lake City Utah
P.O. Box 951049
South Jordan, UT
o: 801-512-2006

 

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