SEO: Dealing with Duplicate Content on Your Website
Sometimes it’s inevitable to have duplicate content your website. For one reason or another, you like something from somewhere and you want to post it for your readership without having to rewrite it, but you also want to avoid a penalty from Google. What is an SEO to do in such a case (and believe us, they do happen)? Well, we use canonicalization, of course.
What is canonicalization?
Sometimes the systems we use may create different versions of the same page, or we might like a piece of content from another website to post on our own without plagiarizing. This can be done by employing the canonical tag. Canonicalization is the process of letting the search engines know which pages are duplicate and which pages are the originals. Simply put <link href=”URL of the original page” rel=”canonical” /> in the HTML code of the page and you’re sorted.
What’s the difference between the canonical tag and 301 redirect?
This may seem a bit similar to the 301 redirect, but there is one crucial difference – with canonical the user actually stays on the page, whereas 301 redirect takes him to another page. This means that if you’ve posted content from another website in order to be useful to your visitors, but you’ve decided that you wanted to be honest about the origin of the content, you’ve used one or the other. However, since 301 redirects visitors to another page, they are leaving your site, which might not be too beneficial for you, which is why it’s a good idea to use the canonical tag instead.
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