Duplicate Content & Google: 9 Tips to Help Marketers Speed Up Spider Crawls
Ussery illustrated the point with slides showing a product description from Nike, for which Nike.com ranked first and about 43,500 results followed—mostly from shoe resellers. Panelists agreed that Google is trying to ensure that a content author's words rank highest.
3. Differentiate pages. Enge suggests those resellers could differentiate their pages, for instance, by soliciting user-generated content.
4. Watch for tool-related duplicate content, such as shoes sorted by new arrivals vs. lowest price creating the same page, Enge says. Collapse those into one page, he says.
5. Avoid shingle and synonym duplicates. Database solutions can create nearly identical pages, which are viewed in search as duplicates, says Enge. Shingles are groupings of identical words, which may have variations such as "Boston" in one version and "New York" in another when describing wonderful cities. Synonyms would call New York "wonderful" in one version and "fabulous" in another.
6. Country matters. If international marketers have duplicate content, Oberoi says, Google does notice top level domain differentiation—such as .de and .cn. However, she says content providers can further differentiate the pages by using Webmaster Tools to set geographies.
7. Find your own duplicates. To determine if there's duplicate content on a site, visit pages by typing them in the browser with and without "www," Oberoi says. If there's duplicate content, a page will be redirected, which means there are two versions of a page and one should be collapsed into the other.
Ussery also believes marketers should check cached versions of their pages and see if the URL is theirs. If not, it means it's requiring Google to redirect to another URL.
To collapse duplicate pages into one page, perform a 301 redirect for the old link, Oberoi says, the "link juice" will get transferred.
8. Canonical redirects. If there's no access to the server, use rel="canonical" redirects, suggests Oberoi. The canonical page is the preferred version, often the original version, of a page. But avoid creating an infinite loop pointing to a blank page or redirecting all old pages to the homepage, she says. Performing these redirects will increase crawl efficiency by 56 percent to 60 percent.