The issue of duplicate content is among the popular problems in the World Wide Web, which happens when the exact type of content is available in two different URLs often detected by the search engine bots. As per the Panda updates by Google it is considered as a big offence and hence the sites or blogs seen with duplicate content is penalized by the search engines.
The search engines leave no stone unturned to remove the duplicate results from their indexed results. Duplicate content is not just stealing content from other blogs or sites but at times even your own content put at different URLs can fall into this category making you penalized by Google. You as a blogger are supposed to know the art of dealing with the duplicate content. There are a couple of smart methods from which the bloggers can play safe while dealing with the duplicate content over their blogs, let’s check them out as under:
Add The rel=”canonical” Tag:
This tag was introduced last year (2012) in order to sort out the issues of similar web documents. With this element, you can enable the search engines like Google indentify the content as preferred version of the link like an original text. For instance if your blog as a link yourblog.com/mobile (the original link), then the duplicate link comes as yourblog.com/gadgets/mobile and another duplicate link 2 as yourblog.com/gadgets?item=mobile then from the list of three URLs similar content is accessed that can bring in duplicate content issue that can be only resolved by adding Rel=canonical Tag. You can therefore add this element in following way:
<link rel=”canonical” href=” http://www.yourblog.com/mobile / >
By adding this feature in the duplicate web URLs will help in knowing the search engine crawlers to find out only the original content and not the duplicate pages over your blog thus fixing up this issue without any hassle.
Assign A 301 Redirect Element:
By adding the 301 redirect element will help you in knowing the search engines that the page has simply moved to other location, which passes the different link equity and add value to your blog. This can be the best solution when you see the duplicate page carry a couple of backlinks and a traffic coming out from the same. All you need to do is to put the 301 redirection elements in the htaccess file, for instance adding this element would appear like, redirect 301 / http://mt-yourblog.com/
Using Meta Robots Or robots.txt:
The other way to deal with the duplicate issues over your blog is by simply using the Meta robots or trying out the robots.txt. However, of late Google has recommended not to use Robots.txt for some its own reasons, so even though if you drop this option, you have the idea of using Meta robots still valid to fix the duplicate content over your blog. The tag of Meta robots is basically a header level directive, which simply conveys the search engines to index your content over your blog pages in accordance to the directives that are mentioned over the tag. This can be used in the following way:
<meta name= “robots” content= “noindex, nofollow” />
Similarly, if you are interested in using robots.txt to fix the duplicate content issue, try out the following ways:
All you need to do is to change the lines in accordance to your file names and locations of the duplicate URLs present over your blog.
Remove The Links:
In most of the cases one of the most effective and simple ways to deal with duplicate content over your blog is to simply remove the links. This can simply make the task of search engines’ crawlers and yours as well to a great extent. All you need to do is to simply remove the pages followed by returning it to the 404’s web pages.
The Parameter Blocking Method:
Another way of fixing the duplicate content issue is by trying out the parameter blocking method. In order to try out this method, you are supposed to try out some steps. Firstly, you need to log inside the Google Webmasters Tools wherein you need to move to the URL Parameters (located under the tab of Crawl) wherein you are supposed to click over the option called Edit and then choose the No option in the drop down list. The option of No simply show that there is a duplicate content present over this particular URL, which will therefore block pages having similar content same as this particular link thus fixing this big problem.
The problem of duplicate content is one of the biggest issues bloggers face while publishing their content since it hampers their rankings over search engine. However, trying out the above options can help you in fixing this problem and secure your rankings.
This Post is written by Alia Anderson. She is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology. Beside this she is fond of Gadgets. Recently an article on PHP Development Services attracted her attention. These days she contributes for PHP Development India