Sculpting page rank and avoiding duplicate content using on page SEO is now easier than ever. Yet, will this be used for good or evil from savvy webmasters who are essentially able to determine which page gets the spoils and which page gracefully bows out of the index as the source?
Essentially, duplicate content can be created when:
- when tags are used and reference the original source in a CMS system
- when your website has not been configured properly on the server level (so your page is splayed into multiple variations like http://, http://www, or default, home, or index also being the same page as a forward slash / in the URL naming convention).
- When parameters are used in a URL such as session ids, tracking code for analytics, etc.
- when there are multiple variations of a page that either lacks content (so the navigation and default aspects of a page are considered similar) or the page contains a high percentage of exact match words and phrases.
If the source is within the URL, prior to this there was really no other option other than (a) trying to minimize the loss of link flow from internal linking (b) using a “noindex, follow” or (c) resorting to 301 redirects in a worst case scenario if a real penalty exists.
Say for example your original page was:
http://www.website.com/product.php?item=landing-page1 – and your CMS (content management system) added dynamic components such as…
Which are essentially parameters from a shopping cart or analytics platform. Now, by simply adding this code inside the head section of your document
link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.website.com/product.php?item=landing-page1″
This works just like your other meta or link tags for CSS / link tags, which means you need to add the < and /> respectively to open and close the tag, the dynamically generated url parameters and the page itself are all pointing back to the original, which means your pages are no longer fighting amongst themselves as duplicates.
This is great news for SEO’s and the search engine optimization industry, since with a slight degree of programming, one can easily implement a Canonical URL’s PHP script (great job Joost as usual) to preclude dynamically generated content from siphoning or leeching away the ranking potential of your critical landing pages.
Even more importantly, you now have the ability to create additional supporting pages to augment a landing page or preferred page than ever. Which means you can truly sculpt the on page SEO factors without fear of suppressing other pages in the site.
Although most may ignore things like using tag pages for SEO or internal linking, however, when harnessed properly, they can outrank or stem into a variety of broad match keywords and create an aggregate rankings affect for more competitive keywords.
This essentially represents another tool for the toolbox for SEO’s and since search engines and search engine optimizers are inevitably playing off of each, this is a step in the right direction for controlling the quality within ones site and how it pertains to indexing and retrieval (specifically keeping the clutter in the search engines index to a minimum).