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Dupe Content From Tracking Links

June 2, 2010
Hi Jill – great article about tracking links to a website!

So, I have a question about the duplicate content issue when you append tracking codes. Photo Credit: Sam ULI've just sent out an email with a special link in the signature which points to one of the Google-generated URLs. With that URL, I'll be able to tell to whom the email was sent and when. But, as a safety measure to avoid duplicate content, I've included a 301-redirect in the .htaccess file, as follows:

Redirect 301 /?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=0510 http://www.mysite.com

Will this fix it or do I have to use the canonical element? I'm concerned about passing link juice.

Thanks much,

Lauren

++Jill's Response++

Hi Lauren,

Glad you liked the article!

No, you don't want to use a server-side redirect such as that, because the tracking data won't be captured that way. Because you're just sending it via an email, if you don't expect people to link to a URL, then I wouldn't worry about it. But if you feel there is a chance some might link to it, then yes, the canonical link element (rel=canonical) is the perfect solution for this type of problem.

Best,

Jill

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Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Agency.

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