CRITICAL SEO MISTAKES:
#3 WEBSITE PUBLISHED UNDER DIFFERENT URL ADDRESSES

Duplicate content - this expression is getting more and more popular every year and its significance due to consecutive Panda algorithm updates responsible for filtering those search results which duplicate content from other websites. Sometimes it’s done by ourselves when copying text content within our own website.

Here’s an expression known to every person related specifically to search engine optimization profession:

Website domain.pl and www.domain.pl are two different websites and this is how Google will perceive them.

Recently, https:// protocol has been added to this batch however Google did mess up a lot by its algorithm and its default prefernce towards the https protocol.

We’re about to deal with deleting internal duplicated content because of its availability at different URL addresses e.g.

  • domain.pl
  • www.domain.pl
  • https://domain.pl
  • https://www.domain.pl
  • subdomain.domain.pl
  • www.subdomain.domain.pl

Each of these URL addresses presents the same website content but at the same time for Google, each is perceived as separate one. Todays large bounce rate does not matter anymore because we can simply manipulate it (by having a website available on variety of URL addresses and using only one version out of it as an internal link).

As you’d read our first article on Critical SEO mistakes, when verifying a webiste in Google Search Console it is worth adding all available varieties of its URL address. By doing this we can not only evaluate if there is any penalty for either URL version but also contribute selection of one proper URL version. By setting a prefered domain we can easily mark www.domain.pl address as domain.pl or other way round.

If you’d already determined one version of website address (www or non-www) the next step is to create appropriate .htaccess redirect - when using a content management system (CMS) probably no .htaccess overwriting will be needed as reason of simplicity of setting it up or plugin installation. The 301 redirect helps to transfer authority to the specified domain version and to redirect all users from other alternative domain addresses to the prefered one.

301 redirect example, www to non-www:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.domena.pl$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://domena.pl/$1 [R=301,L]

301 redirect example, non-www to www:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domena.pl$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domena.pl/$1 [R=301,L]

Using this short code bit and determining prefered domain in Google Search Console will help you to figure out issues such as:

  • internal duplicate content
  • high bounce rate
  • possible penalties for specific domain version

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