At some cases, you may find you have no opt unless applying a duplicate content which is quite a problem that every web developers will be confronted with. But don’t worry as you can choose to either make use of canonical tags or 301 redirects to avoid any duplicate content. But when you can use the right method between the two of them? Below are several scenarios that you can choose.
Scenario 1: Similar Products with Similar Descriptions in an Online Shop
If you are online shop owners, you may often face a situation where you have similar or almost identical products (e.g. same color or model number). Hence, these products will have similar product descriptions but will be indexed with differing URLs.
Providing an indication of the product in the URLs also will let users know what to expect when clicking on the link. Moreover, multiple URLs for similar products also lead to duplicate content in search engines.
Due to this, you need to avoid having any duplicate content since it is important that only one URL is indexed by Google and canonical tag is the easiest way to do this. With Canonical tag, Google will know which URL to index.
Scenario 2: Conversion of the Website from HTTP to HTTPs
Since the increase of user’s security, many websites are being converted to the encrypted https version. However, this change will lead to much duplicate content, as Google indexes both the http and the https version. In this case, a 301 redirect can be used to avoid this problem since it will redirect the http version of the website to the https version. By permanently redirecting those sites, you will increase the loading time significantly.
- The solution for smaller websites: All web pages are redirected to the https version via the 301 redirect.
- The solution for very large websites: The rel=canonical refers to the https version as the original URL. This way, crawlers are encouraged to index the https version.
Scenario 3: Relaunch of a Website with an URL Alteration
Another case, if your website has reached a top place in Google Page, but because of several reasons you need to turn it down temporarily, and relaunch it again, a search engine indexes the exact URL of an individual web page, and if the structure of the website is changed, almost none of the web pages will keep their URL.
To help you minimize the risk for having any domain transfer, you can forward the old domain URL to the new domain URL via a 301 redirect. By this way, users can find the new URL without have to cope with error pages or receiving browser messages that the complete website is unavailable.