The problem of canonical or duplicate pages is a big issue, which SEO services must handle with advanced care and strategy making. It happens that what the human eye can detect easily as two different pages cannot be detected in the same way by the artificial intelligence of a computer. That is why the crawlers in the search engines fail to detect the two similar product pages as different, and often identifies them to be duplicate content thereby creating a lot of confusion. The users get confused too when they get multiple returns to their search query from the same website.
Also, the search engine does not understand which page is most relevant as per the targeted keyword and makes a confusing list of all pages of the website which are optimized against the keyword.
Table of Contents
Duplicate content issue- who faces the most and why
Sites facing this kind of issue the most are:
- Business sites with similar listings
- E-commerce product pages where the products are very much similar, and the descriptions and features match in most cases.
- Classified ads of things where most of the features are same except some vital information like contact, price, etc.
- Travel sites with package details for the same destination in various prices but similar attractions and features.
The problem that you face because of this issue are many. Google has a specific algorithm dedicated to the detection of duplicate pages and content, and this is called the Simhash fingerprint. If the Simhash cannot identify the content as unique, then you need to create a strategy to make it clear before Google by any feasible way. And only reliable SEO service providers like Keyword Fyrebird SEO can help take such advanced correction steps for the best optimization of pages without the duplicity confusion.
When similarity or dissimilarity is too much
The pages that are questioned can have too many similarities or are just similar at some places which count to maximum 20% similarity. In such cases, the following can be done:
- If the similarity is within 20%, then Google can be signaled accordingly so that the search engine treats them different. This can be made possible by using different anchor texts for each page. Also, the pages can be interlinked to state clearly that they are different.
- Sometimes changing the content of one page a little at places so that they can be differentiated as two different pages is a must. This also can save from the confusion.
Duplicate pages which are connected to facets are suffering from an issue with indexing. In that case, you can maintain only a few relevant facets, and remove the rest. Do not let Google index all the facets.
Work more on making the pages unique
The Simhash fingerprints can sometimes fail to detect the two pages as different due to too many similarities. In that case, some significant changes need to be made on the pages or either one of them. They can be as follows:
- More text can be added to either the pages or both.
- If there are images, the descriptions can be added or edited.
- Related and additional information on whatever the content subject is, can be added.
- More images can be used.
- The anchor texts you used earlier can be changed to link to those pages.
- The common source code between the pages can be reduced.
- The semantic density of the pages can be reduced.
- If there are fillers in the pages, then they can be reduced and replaced with more facts and sensible vocabulary.
Use a reference page to rank instead of the individual pages
This is a proven successful strategy which many SEO services and site developers use. This strategy involves ranking one such reference page in Google with all the important keywords, which would then lead the user to the individual pages. In that case, you need not rank the pages with supplicate content issues individually and can remove their anchor texts as well. All you have to do is focus on one single page for ranking which can lead to all the product pages or different pages. This helps rank them much better, and also brings the limelight to that reference page which can then direct the traffic to the needed page of the user.
This is a much sensible approach. Only one page needs to be ranked and optimized with all the necessary keywords or anchor texts. And try and use various anchor texts which looks different on this page, and relate them to all those pages, which looks similar to Google otherwise. You can get better traffic without making the search engine and users confused. Try to follow the steps below for best results:
- The reference page must contain the semantic content of all pages which the Simhash algorithm detects as a duplicate. All the keywords that you want to use can be kept here, and they can individually lead to the various supplicate pages.
- Connect the product page to the reference page through the anchor text, and also use anchor text in the product page to come back to the reference page.
- Ensure all supplicate looking pages are interconnected through links.
- The sitemap must stress on the reference page, and your only focus should be to optimize this reference page.
This whole strategy can work great in cheating the Simhash fingerprints, and your duplicate looking pages can get traffic while the reference page containing all important keywords can get a rank.
Detecting duplicate pages is completely a job done while content auditing and only when you detect the problem you can find a solution. That is why you need the hard work and focus of a good SEO service with a hard-working team. These things and rectifications need time, patience, the right use of tools, and the right strategy making with timely implementation. Only when your site SEO gets handled by the experts, you can handle such confusion and clear them off in a possible time.
Some of the link on this post may have affiliate links attached. Read the FTC Disclaimer.