SEO in Magento: avoid duplicate content

We will talk about advanced techniques that will help to avoid duplicate content penalties from search engines.

How to avoid duplicate content penalties?

One of the most terrifying phrases in the search engine optimization for eCommerce websites - "duplicate content penalty". The structure of the stores is very specific, and there can be a number of cases in which search engine spiders may decide that in your Magento store has duplicate content. SEO in Magento is really hard to do, because Magento generates pages by itself and you should to write correct rules.

If you want to delete duplicate content correctly, you need to create robots.txt file, to make 301 redirect or to write meta tags “noindex, nofollow”. Nevertheless, there are still a number of steps to follow that can effectively reduce the risk of a fine for a duplicate content.

How to edit the template title?

Let’s remember the function of canonical references. Sometimes due the sorting of products, complex layered navigation or other factors different URLs may lead to the same page.

Some examples of these links:

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To avoid duplicate content penalties, you can enable canonical links in a title tag, which will look like this:

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This will specify preferred location of the URL for search engines. It should look like this http://your-website.com/category/product.html, but not like this http://your-website.com/category/product.html?gclid=hgyerf.

But sometimes duplicate pages can be cached by search engines, especially if the website has worked long before the introduction of canonical references. To avoid this situation, we should manually add a few lines of code to the template head.phtml to ensure that the canonical tags are wrote for this page. SEO in Mageno allows you to do this.

Open the folder with your Magento website and go to the app/design/frontend/[theme name] /default/template/page/html/head.phtml. If this file is absent - copy it from app/design/frontend/base/default/template/page/html/head.phtml.

Place the following code in head.phtml among a group with other tags <link>:

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This code will manually add canonical tag on each product page or category. Also you can add this code to the end of the file head.phtml:

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This code  implements rel=prev and rel=next for the pagination in Magento, and tells the search engine that the page should be interpreted as pagination of goods, but not as a duplicate content. The above code will add the following links:

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How to avoid duplicated content in multilanguage store

Magento has a magnificent multilingual support.  There are all the tools to set various languages ​​for our stores. It is important to mention some tricks on how to avoid duplicate content penalties on multilingual websites. This is really important if you want to do SEO in Magento store the right way.

You should use the tag rel="alternate" hreflang="x".The best way is to place the tag in the header of the page head. As it will be quite difficult to place the tag on each page, you can use a field “Different scripts”, which can be found in System>Configuration>Design>HTML>Title>Various scripts.

An example of the code for this field:

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After all this steps your SEO in Magento has become a little better, and we have done everything possible to avoid duplicate content penalties.