Introduction to Magento Duplicate Content

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Being a Magento store owner with a proper knowledge of how the e-commerce machine’s wheels are turning, you should realize that one hundred percent uniqueness of your web-page content is a hard goal to reach.

No matter what you offer, the thing is that the indexed pages of your product catalog look the same alongside with those of your rivals for Google search. That is known as Duplicate Content phenomenon and it should be fought against in order to remain competitive. Check some tips from Amasty – Magento extensions developer and an experienced duplicate content fighter.

The essence of Magento Duplicate Content

There are two major types of Duplicate Content in Magento:

  • Partial
  • Full

Partial Content Duplication sets in when only a minor part of the web-page content or the layout lacks uniqueness.

magento partial content duplication

It’s a common story for such cases as:

  • Pagination
  • Product Sorting
  • Variations of the same product

Full Content Duplication represents the case of two or more pages being completely identical. Moreover, it happens when the same product is displayed in different categories.

full duplicates in Magento

Still the devil is in the details, so let’s go down to the solutions.

MagentoLeaks: how to fight Partial Content Duplication

Let’s take one of the most common cases of Partial Content Duplication – Variations of the same product – and find its weak points to build your winning strategy upon.

An online store selling mugs will serve us as laboratory guinea-pig. So the store offers the same model in different colors with a separate landing page for each:

product variations

The trick is that as long as everything from the product characteristics (except color, of course) to the layout of the page is identical, there’s no chance for Google to treat it as a unique content.

If you don’t have a list of all the variations of your product catalogue, you can easily pump it up with the help of Google Search:

site:yoursite.com “here comes a short excerpt from the product description”

Partial Content Duplicates Removal

There are several ways to remove the partial duplicates from your website.

  • All in One

It would be a wise decision to create a single page for the product under consideration with all the variations presented on it.

product variations on one page

  • Rel=canonical

With the help of rel=canonical you take one variation page and provide canonical to it from the others left. The potential clients will be able to see the whole content, while Google will recognize only the copy of the page you’ve set.

  • Go unique

If you’ve got plenty of time and patience, you can take the option of making each of the product variations pages unique through upgrading them with different product description and meta information.

MagentoLeaks: how to fight Full Content Duplication

There are some tips for fighting full content duplicates in your store. All you need is a good command of the following tips to complete the mission of brushing up the negative effects of having the same product displayed in different categories.

Imagine that you sell necklaces and you want one model to be seen in more than one category. This is how it looks for Google:

site.com/jewellery/necklace.html
site.com/for-her/necklace.html
site.com/gifts/necklace.html

The thing is that one product uses as many URLs as the number of categories it’s put into, so Google starts to treat it as a thin content.

Full Content Duplicates Removal

  • Rel=canonical

Just as with partial duplicates you may a single set URL for the product with the rest of the pages canonicalized to it.

  • Category removal from URL

Another option is to provide the product with a single address, removing the category path from URL so that it won’t take the number of categories, the product is displayed in, into account. It can be easily done with our Pro Tip:

Go to System => Configuration => Catalog => Search Engine Optimization and switch “Use Categories Path for Product URLs” field to “No” and both “Canonical Link Meta Tag” fields to “Yes”.

remove category path magento

  • Single Category Path

You may also choose to have a single category path in the product URL. In this case you product will be accessible via one URL but at the same time it can be found in different categories.  This can be achieved either by 301 redirecting all URL variations to the canonical one or by using special extensions.

Now you know how Google sees duplicate content on your store and can take control over your site crawling!

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharashtra, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tricks Machine on Twitter, also you can add me on Google+.

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