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MightyShip Press Releases - SEO and Website Development Resource Blog for Western Mass

Hummingbird Google Duplicate Content Penalty – SEO Expert Article 435

Hummingbird Duplicate Content Penalties

As you have observed, Google webmaster tools below “Search Appearance –> HTML Improvements” now lists duplicate page info including duplicate descriptions, duplicate titles. In my experience under Hummingbird a website will be penalized with reduced search traffic for duplicates by 25% for major mess-ups. The Hummingbird penalty will last 3 months minimum before Google removes that penalty and updates itself in webmaster tools. So what Google seems to be saying, treat duplicate content on your own website as a serious problem.

Causes of Duplicate Content Penalties

Google searches your website for duplicate page descriptions, duplicate titles and duplicate pages. Also multiple URLs which serve the same page content without canonical a tag will also cause penalty. A canonical tag may help with duplicate page penalties, but that doesn’t always work with Hummingbird. Example: http://www.domain.com/urllocation/code-a http://www.domain.com/urllocation/code-b In this case these are two distinct URLs without canonical tag showing the same HTML, the same title or the same page description. Adding a canonical tag would fix this as would changing the content. Example: http://www.domain.com/urllocation/&code=a http://www.domain.com/urllocation/&code=b For this example we have two distinct URLs utilizing url variable with identical descriptions but non-identical content. Updating the descriptions would fix these pages. Also if the HTML was the same, then a canonical tag would be appropriate. Example: http://www.domain.com/urllocation/ http://www.domain.com/urllocation This one is tricky but a common problem, in this example we have a WordPress website with two identical URLs, however one url has a slash and the other URL does not have a slash. In this case a canonical tag won’t fix the problem with Google. So you have to use htaccess 301 redirection. This really is a specific Google Hummingbird mistake and is probably is damaging a great deal of sites. Solution Solution Code: RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(/$|.) RewriteRule (.*) %{REQUEST_URI}/ [R=301,L]

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