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Print page could cause duplicate penalty?

Print pages being indexed - should i worry?



3:10 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We have recently implemented a feature that allows our users to open up a print user friendly version of the page.

The problem is i have noticed Google have been indexing these links & i worry that they might cause some duplication issues because they are so similar to the real pages.

Should we find a way to stop these print pages being indexed or would Google know that the pages are only for users wishing to print the contents?

An example of the URL is below... each with different variables after print.cfm?


Any advice ,experience or speculation appreciated.


8:08 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Add "noindex" to meta tags on the printer friendly page. Or rel="nofollow" to the link.


8:19 pm on Feb 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

yes. I remember one WebmasterWorld member who had a problem with print friendly versions of his texts.
The best way is to store all these files in one directory and disallow search engines using robots.txt file.
That solution ensures you never forget about noindex and nofollow tags.


9:29 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This way you have to prepare every page twice.

It doesn't make sense as there are very good tools prepared exactly for this purpose.

All you have to do is to separate content from formatting - that's what HTML/CSS is about. Printer friendly page should be identical in terms of content, it should just use different css.

Jordo needs a drink

3:19 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"Add "noindex" to meta tags on the printer friendly page. Or rel="nofollow" to the link."

Do both.

I had a prob with print pages, they were showing up in the index rather than the actual page. Users would search for a keyword, hit my print page, but since the print pages have no navigations links, they would stop there.

I didn't check for duplications, but almost positive it was a problem. It's the exact same content.


3:36 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It's only really a problem where the printer-friendly page outranks the original HTML page.

And there's an insight in that into SE ranking algos and on page factors (particularly text content outweighing HTML markup content - especially with tables).

The duplicate content filter will simply filter out one version from the SERPS. It's not a penalty, just a filter.


3:43 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I tend to use <!-- startprint --> content <!-- endprint --> with php this way there is no need to create print friendly versions, no links to repeat content and no issue with google ...

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