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Google's Vanessa Fox on Duplicate Content & Sitemaps
Thursday, December 07, 2006

At SES Chicago, WebProNews recently interviwed Google Webmasters Tools expert Vanessa Fox. In the interview Vanessa clarified a few issues about duplicate content, benefits of Sitemaps through Google Webmaster Tools as well as other hints for success.

Duplicate Content Filter

If you have duplicate content issues you will not be penanlized per se, but your pages may be filtered as Google only wants to index one version of the page. Remember, Google is concerned with relevancy.

will happen as Google wants to show the most relevant results. As a result, only one of the pages will show up. The key for webmasters and site owners is to identify which version of the page that you want found and indexed. You can do this through:
  • robots.txt
  • 301 redirects
  • submit Google sitemap identifying which page that you want crawled and indexed
  • you can not serve up session IDs
  • the best thing to do is to make your pages as UNIQUE as possible
Priority Number for Web Pages

  • setting a higher priority for important site pages (ie home page) does make a difference with Google but this is only relevant to your site in terms of identifying which of your site pages are the most important.

  • PR thorough Google Webmaster's tool is only available if you have verified a sitemap through Google Webmaster's tools. This PR is more updated and accurate but it doesn't get updated as often as the PR you would see through the toolbar.

Other Google Webmaster Tools News

- May be considering showing a more complete number of inlinks (ie backlinks to your site) through verified sites in Google Webmaster tools.

- Use attributes in the scripting for your XML sitemap (or feed) when submitting to Webmaster Tools. The last modified or change frequency may be the most important attributes to focus on. According to Fox you simply need to focus on one or the other and not necessarily both.

The video blog is just over 17 minutes long but it does contain some great information. Thanks to WebProNews and Vanessa Fox for the great interview.

posted by Jody @ Thursday, December 07, 2006  
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