Are 'duplicate products' on Ecommerce URLs an SEO problem?
 by Kristi Hagen

Are duplicate products on Ecommerce URLs an SEO problem?

  • I have a question about Ecommerce URLs generated by a Woo Commerce WordPress site. I've found that the product URLs can be slightly different for the same product. Apparently the multi-categories for a given product are causing the URL to change.

    For instance, both of these (example) URLs display the same product information.

    https://golfstyledomain.com/product-category/brands/widget-golf-balls/

    https://golfstyledomain.com/product-category/widget-golf-balls/

    Here is another example where the URLs are displaying the same info:

    https://golfstyledomain.com/product/grades/mint/widget-chrome-soft-used-golf- balls/

    https://golfstyledomain.com/product/grades/widget-chrome-soft-used-golf-balls/ span>

    How bad is this for SEO? Any suggestions for fixing the situation?

Answer:

YES, duplicate pages can be a problem and should be avoided. The use of the rel=canonical tag can help avoid these duplicate URLs from causing you problems. Let me explain...

Whenever you have two or more URLs that display the same content, especially in shopping platforms, the system should automatically generate a canonical tag, which identifies the "one true version" of the URL. The code wrapped around the URL looks like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/product-category/product/">

The rel="canonical" code tells Google to index 'this one as the most important' and to ignore all others.

Now you can spot check a few of these pages to be sure that they have the rel=canonical code is in place as it should be. You can also manually check Google's index to see if more than one of these pages is being served to searchers. Do this by searching Google for a long piece of content specific to the page inside of quotes and see what you get. If you get multiple pages then it's a good indication that you have a problem.

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