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Google Addresses Duplicate Content

Google Addresses Duplicate Content

February 17, 2009

Countless hours have been spent by developers, consultants, webmasters and many others trying to figure out how to make sure search engines (Google) only see one copy of your website. If you are not quite sure what dictates duplicate content then you may want to review a previous post by Google on duplicate content.

Google really picked up the slack and now supports a way for you to tell them the preferred URL. Every site owner should be excited about this because you no longer have to worry about a product being in multiple categories or affiliate links negatively impacting your SEO efforts.

I am not going to get too deep into the inevitable Q&A or debates about using the canonical URL attribute on a page but instead focus on how to implement in an existing Miva Merchant store.

First off, the most common instances of two URLs for the same page in Miva Merchant is the storefront page. The second most common is likely the addition of a Session ID appended to the URL.

Normally a 301 redirect in the .htaccess file is utilized to eliminate multiple URLs for the same page such as:

Without the redirect all of the above URLs are considered different pages by the search engines. Another example is when a Session ID is appended resulting in a URL similar to:

The Session ID issue cannot be addressed with a 301 redirect though. Both scenarios can now be covered by adding one line to the header of your storefront