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alternative url's - duplicate content issue?

Advice needed regarding generating alternative url's

8:39 am on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I curremtly work for a very large sports and leisure e-commerce site and have been asked the following question which i'm struggling with... help please! We are in the process of restructuring the site and have come across an issue from our IT guy -

"I am sure you thought deeply about what to call the top level categories E.g. Ladies or Womens and so on. Would it make sense, for SEO reasons, for us to automatically generate alternative urls for you E.g.



To be clear, I am only talking about generating extra urls. You would still end up at the same “Ladies Running Shoes” category. That might be one to add to the jobs list, or it might be really bad for SEO. Have a think about it and let us know."

Can anyone help answer this question? My concern is what about the duplicate content this would generate.

Many thanks in advance for any help.
11:23 am on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 10, 2004
votes: 107

you should select a canonical url for each page of content and only serve content (200 OK) for that url.
if you choose to respond (other than 404 Not Found) to requests for specific welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], seovamp!

non-canonical urls, those should be 301 redirected to the canonical url.
make sure you aren't doing some type of wildcard redirect.
so in your example of "womens" is the canonical keyword:
http://www.example.com/womens-running-shoes gets a 200 OK
http://www.example.com/ladies-running-shoes gets a 301 Moved Permanently to the url above.
http://www.example.com/xyz123-running-shoes gets a 404 Not Found

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