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How to Avoid a Duplicate Content Penalty in the Search Engines

Click here to check a webpage to see if others are copying it, hence creating duplicate content. rewrite your copy to stop the duplication.

Do not duplicate pages with the sole purpose of spamming the search engines. Multiple URL’s or identical homepages with the same content constitutes spamming.

If both the www and non-www versions of your pages are listed in the search engines it is possible to trigger a duplicate content penalty, hence receive a drop in your search results. You can add the following to your .htaccess file in your site’s root directory. A loss of traffic while the search engines realign your information may result, though I feel the benefit outweighs the temporary setback.

If you wish to direct all non-www traffic to www add this to the .htaccess file:

Options +FollowSymLinksRewriteEngine onRewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yoursite.com [NC]RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yoursite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

If you wish to direct all www traffic to non-www add this to the .htaccess file:

Options +FollowSymLinks

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.yoursite.com [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://yoursite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

If you wish to direct traffic from one webpage to another add this to the .htaccess file:

Redirect 301 /file.html http://yoursite.com/newfile.html

There is a new tag that stops search engine duplicate content penalties within the same site and allows one to set a preferred version of a site page. Just add something like:<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.yoursite.com/preferred.html”> in the <head> section of the page with duplicate content.