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Walter

Duplicate Content/ Excessive Pagination

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Hello All,

 

While following a link from a thread here a few days ago I ran into the term "excessive pagination" and have also been hearing alot of talk about duplicate content. I'm preparing to ad some content to my site and wanted to make sure that I understand these terms well enough to avoid making any errors.

 

Excessive pagination: If I have an article with more than one page, if I put a link to the succesive pages in the index with the main link, will this avoid this issue? My index page is only one click from my homepage, this would put even a three page article ony 4 pages deep (from the homepage that is), is this even an issue for me? Is there a depth that is considered too deep, a rule of thumb so to speak?

 

 

Duplicat content: Lets say I divide my indexs based on categories of visitors. So for example there might be a seperate index for buyers and sellers. However; the same article, say home insurance, might apply to both, if there is only one page, but two links to that page from two different index pages, this isn't a duplicate content issue is it? Also, if a printer freindly version is made available thought a style sheet, would this be a duplicate content issue?

 

Thanks for any light you can shed on this,

 

Walter

Edited by Walter

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Hi Walter

Re excessive pagination, be guided by what works well for your human visitors. If it works for them, then the spiders won't have a problem. In general I prefer architectures that are not too deep, but that's more for the humans.

 

On the duplicate content issue, a single web page may often have links pointing at it from a number of other web pages, for example in a navigation menu. That's no problem.

 

You should also have no problem with a print version via a different style sheet. After all there are a number of allowable media types, e.g. print, handheld, screen, projection, etc. that can be specified in the Head section of the web page. They do not lead to duplicate content issues.

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Duplicate content is about a spider identifying that a page has similar content to another. Therefore in your equation whether you have a site split for buyers or sellers, search engines do not discriminate at this level, spiders are stupid.

 

It's a mathematical equation based on matches and similarities between texts, and URLS. Therefore re-write texts for different audiences so to avoid such filters if you need to develop separate categories of content for each type of user.

 

In terms of linking you should have no problems 2 links to the same page, reasons as described.

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I have done some experiments with placing articles on multiple pages and placing them all on a single long page (often up to 4000+ words). My experience says that long articles pull more traffic from search and in my opinion they rank better in the search engines. I have no reliable data on this but I also believe that they attract links better.

 

One of the reasons that people break articles into many pages is to get ad impressions with each click to a second, third page by the visitor and to have greater ad density on the article pages which could result in higher CTR.

 

I am betting my money on the long pages. (don't you find it annoying to read a 400 word article broken into four pages?)

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Thanks Guys,

 

Glyn, my original thought was to write a separate treatement of each topic from the differing viewpoints of each category of visitor. However; for certain topics I would be simply changing the introduction and conclusions while placing a relatively large chunk of factual content, that was the same, between them. I hope to avoid any duplicate content issues by writing one article which addresses both viewpoints/concerns and placing links to the topic in two separte article index pages. An example would be indoor enviornmental hazards where the "factual information" is such a large part of the article and the difference between the viewpoints/concerns is relatively minimal. My intuition told me that the links would not be a problem and I appreciate you and Bwelford confirming this.

 

Bwelford, thanks I was a little concerned about the printer freindly versions, that may be because I'm not aware of anyway to create them except by using a style sheet, (I'm sure there are though), so when I read that printer friendly versions could be a problem, I thought maybe I did't fully understand.

 

Egol,

 

As a matter of fact, if I'm interested in a topic enough to search for information on it, I'm usually happy to see a long scroll bar on the right. My first impression is that its going to be a full treatment of the subject. Longer articles, everything else being the same, indicate authority to me. The problem is that I have had cause to believe that I might be in the minority on this point.

However, given your advice (and I'm also going to take Bwelford comment about prefering architectures that aren't too deep to mean basically the same in this context), I'm going to lean towards longer pages. It only make sense to me that search engines and the serious vistior will prefer them. If I were a spider looking for quality content on a topic I would prefer a page with one H1 a couple of H2's and three or four H3's, (a natural by product of a longer treatment of a subject), rather than six H1's, (indicating a shallow, maybe even spammy quality). If I was a stupid spider as glyn suggests, I might get thrown off by the breaking up of the article into multiple pages. I suspect that search engines like "orginization" and if I understand things correctly they evaluate on a page by page basis. So by needlessly breaking up an article into separate pages I may loose some of the value of the lower heiarchy tags.

 

I am thinking though that in the interest of scanability/readability I will put an outline of the longer articles at the top, (but under the H1 tag), with links to the specific sections on the page for the longer pages.

 

Thanks again for all your advice.

 

Walter.

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Regarding breaking an article into subsections with H2 and H3, etc......

 

I used to use very few subsections. Then I broke one article into many subsections. Readers stayed a lot longer on that page.

 

Think about it... you start reading an article and you wonder if it addresses a certain point... just scan down looking at the headings... "There it is!"

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I tend to usual the old school links nav on a horizontal alignment at the top of a long article which points to the main sections. I think it's still good practice to provide an immediate cue to the user as to what the article is going to cover. It's also beneficial in terms of internal linking practice. Walter I'd just say that you need to look at your writing from the point of view of making content distinguishable from other content on your domain. There are limits, but the thresholds change, Take a paragraph out of wikipedia and paste it into google and you'll see this. Don't take a human approach to distinguishing content, such as I will put a different heading or change the background colour. Look at it from a spider, % match on content. IN this way you'll have no problems.

Glyn

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Multiple topics landing in the same place won't cause duplicate content by itself, but if the URLs for that destination page are different, such as:

 

http://www.yoursite.com/widgets.php?topic=computers

http://www.yoursite.com/widgets.php?topic=cameras

http://www.yoursite.com/widgets.php?topic=phones

 

...then you can run into dupe content issues.

 

This happens a lot with "excessive pagination", because you often end up with something like:

 

http://www.yoursite.com/article.php?page=1

http://www.yoursite.com/article.php?page=2

http://www.yoursite.com/article.php?page=3

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Dr. Pete,

 

I'm following you on the first example but the second confuses me a little. If the article really needs to be broken up into say three pages, then how do you handle it? Or is it something that is better avoided if possible? Hey Question: Would a "carousel" handle this problem?

 

Glyn,

 

I agree, reader needs to know where you are going, thats why I was thinking about an outline at the top of the page with links to the appropriate content on the page, like you see sometimes with FAQs, particularly for longer articles. I don't know if this gives any internal linking benefit or if it might cause problems with the spiders?

 

Thanks,

 

Walter

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Unfortunately, the solutions are tricky and very implementation-specific. Most of the time, if the paginated pages are really unique in their content (which they generally should be), you'll be ok. It can be a problem if the pages all start with a lot of the same content and only differ by a tiny section and URL parameter.

 

Generally, with duplicate content (especially these days), you probably shouldn't worry too much unless you know there's an issue and some of your pages are getting ignored. Focus on making the pagination experience good for visitors, and balancing that with your business needs (such as ad impressions), and you'll probably be ok on the SEO front.

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Thanks Pete for elaborating and putting it into perspective.

 

 

Walter

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"I don't know if this gives any internal linking benefit or if it might cause problems with the spiders? "

 

It is great for internal linking, users and spiders.

Glyn

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