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Breadcrumbs Vs. Duplicate Content
Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:45 PM
If I were to say
then the breadcrumb on the product page would be
Athletic Gear > Shoes > The Shoe
and all is fine. Unfortunately, (well fortunate for my customers, not so much for me), there are mulitple ways to get to the same product. Another would be:
Shoes > Adidas > The Shoe
Adidas > Shoes > The Shoe
Search for "Adidas Shoe" > The Shoe
Every one of those pages (The_Shoe.html) has the same content with the exception of the breadcrumb and the link structure (which isn't content). Now I know that SE's don't "penalize" per se for duplicate content, but I know that the "weight" gets divided among the many pages. How does one overcome this?
Do I create a separate directory for products:
and use the robots.txt to have SE's not index the other pages? How can I guarantee that they know to go to the right product page to make sure that it gets indexed and all of the link juice goes where it needs to? If I 301 all of the product pages to one, how can I determine the breadcrumb? Do I have to use a query string param?
I gave this a lot of thought last night, and I couldn't come up with anything all day today either... It seems like the big stores that use the breadcrumb feature don't worry about how clean the URI is. I'm very anal about that unfortunately...
I'm sure it's been done many times, but how? Any ideas?
Posted 25 May 2007 - 09:31 PM
Posted 26 May 2007 - 04:13 PM
Basically decide what final product page URI to use, then set up a little scripted function to analyze the URI as the page starts to load. If it's not the final URI you want do a 301 redirect to the proper location. How you get the breadcrumb to be correct, and be more dynamic, can be accomplished a couple of ways.
You could use referrer information to get the breadcrumb set correctly. With this method you'd need to do some parsing of the of the http referrer on the final product pages. If the referrer contains breadcrumb info you're looking for extract it from the referrer and insert it into the breadcrumb menu. Just make sure you have a fallback position since not all browsers will pass referrer info.
Another way to do it would be to set a cookie on the users machine that contains the breadcrumb info and grab it from there on the final product page. Again, make sure you have a fallback position for those users who don't accepts cookies.
Posted 27 May 2007 - 07:15 AM
i would not have thought so much about weight distribution about various pages.Rather i would have put more emphasis on user friendliness.
If the weights are distributed among all the pages of your website,this will overall put more weight on your website and fruits will definetely be good.
Posted 27 May 2007 - 08:19 AM
Athletic Gear > Shoes > The Shoe
All other combos are listed as:
See Also: Shoes, Adidas
Then always use ONE and ONLY ONE URL. Easy
Edited by projectphp, 27 May 2007 - 08:31 AM.
Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:25 PM
@Jill (Robots.txt): If I use robots.txt to tell SE's to not index anything but one specific URI structure for the product pages, how do they find that one specific URI structure? How can I tell them where to look? Putting a dummy link at the footer/header of every product page seems like a band-aid type fix.
@Randy (301 referrals): What do you mean by 301'ing at the page level? I assume I'd have to modify the headers on the product page to tell everyone to look at /products/The_Shoe.html? Wouldn't this clear the referral info from the browser? I am curious about this because this way seems like it would work -- if it works.
@outshineguy: I have to worry about duplicate contents. The URI strcuture won't be much of a usability factor, but it can kill a site's SE rankings.
@projectphp (tags): what do you mean by tags? I've seen some sites that list a breadcrumb for every possible breadcrumb for how to get to the product, but I dont' have room for that. I would like to be able to have a true breadcrumb (and list all possiblities of them only if I decide there's a benefit from that in the future). Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by tags.
Posted 30 May 2007 - 03:31 PM
You make sure that everywhere you link to that particular piece of content, you use the URL you want them to index.
Posted 30 May 2007 - 05:19 PM
Posted 31 May 2007 - 06:11 AM
I have a website with massive duplicate links for the same page because I use both redirects and both php parameters for pages. Also, I have affiliate system and affiliate links add extra parameters to the page but nothing changes. I have found pages on Google that contain in the link the id of the affiliate - which if course I really hate - but, this page not only it is indexed, but also gets top positions. Also I am using multiple domain names (even some not similiar) for the same site.
I have no trouble with Google and I get pretty nice top rankings for lots of keywords.
In my opinion, if your site is an "important" site, in the eyes of Google, they will be able to determine the mechanisms that you have that are generating the duplicate content and they will not degrade your rankings. All that matters, in my opinion, is that you get nice backlinks from relevant industry major (or at least middle) websites, build content, update content, get visitors and do not worry about this minor issue.
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