Duplicate Content: Google Clarifies

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The dreaded topic of duplicate content is surrounded by lots of legends, assumptions, and theories. Now, there’s a clarification from Google.

Mueller Confirms: What is Duplicate Content and What Isn’t?

It might have been the Christmas feeling that motivated John Mueller, the search giant’s webmaster trends analyst, to deflate the duplicate content tire in an extensive tweet.

Here at Noupe, we also gave our opinion on the topic a few months ago, and gave you bunch of useful tips on handling duplicate content. After Mueller’s clarification, these tips are as relevant as ever.

According to Mueller, this is how Google actually views your URL structure regarding duplicate content:

Google’s John Mueller Clarifies. (Screenshot: Dr. Web)

It’s Pretty Simple

According to his statement, it does not matter if links to your primary domain end with a slash or not. Google recognizes that it is the exact same content, and won’t index it twice. It also does not matter if you run your domain on HTTP or HTTPS.

However, it does matter if your website works with both HTTP and HTTPS. Google considers that to be duplicate content. If, for whatever reason, you run your site on both protocols, at least place a 301-redirect from one protocol to the other, to show Google that the content is identical.

The same measure should also be used when your website is accessible via both www.mysite.com and mysite.com.

While it is irrelevant whether the primary domain ends with a slash or not, that is not the case for the following sub-structures. For instance, if your site contains a URL called mysite.com/subfolder/ and another one called mysite.com/subfolder, this counts as duplicate content. So, pay attention to consistent link placement and a correct redirection.

Generally, you should follow our tip from the article mentioned earlier, define the so-called Canonical Tag for every page of your web presence. This makes it easy for Google to see which version of your URL is the one you want to appear in the search results.

Take the five minutes and check which of the problems mentioned above affect your website. Then fix them.

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