Question: Our website offers many products with similar characteristics, so we have duplicate content on many pages. We cannot delete it because each product has its own page, so does that hurt us in the end? Do we have to create unique content for each page somehow? What does Google think about this?
Answer: Duplicate content on the same site, in my opinion, is overestimated as an SEO problem. There are a number of interrelated problems here. First, using crazy URL’s like sessionid’s, %, ?, etc. That is often at work as well as duplicate content; crazy URL’s are terrible for SEO / Google. So if those are at work, get rid of them!
Second, if you truly have 100% duplicate content on the website then the recommended action is to use the CANONICAL meta tag to point to the PRIMARY source. Here is an official Google post on the CANONICAL meta tag – http://bit.ly/H6Jp4V.
Third, similar is not the same as duplicate; Google is totally fine with many pages that have similar, closely related content. Like products that are very similar (light bulbs, that fit into different types of sockets, etc.). That’s totally OK.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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