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Mysterious Page Duplications

  • # July 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    This is probably a strange request from this long-time lurker, – – but I’m wondering if someone could take a look-see at this gent’s problem with a page of his website seemingly duplicating itself, and showing up on his search-pages, yet not in his files. Here’s the link on the contractor-site (contractortalk) where he discusses the problem. As you’ll see anyway, – – I’m ‘Tom R’ over there. Thanks in advance for any input . . . http://www.contractortalk.com/f101/know-how-remove-duplicate-webpage-cant-locate-136930/

    # July 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    No takers on this one?? Anyone have any ideas what’s goin’ on?? Or, at least, if not what’s causing it, – – what he can do to fix it??

    # July 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    No mystery here. Look into canonical pages: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139394?hl=en

    # July 2, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks, Senff, – – yes, I was on that same page earlier today while searching for an answer, – – thing is, – – these aren’t ‘variations’ of pages he managed to generate on his own, – – these seem to be generating themselves from some outside force or someone else, no??

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    # July 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    >these seem to be generating themselves from some outside force or someone else, no??

    oooooo… must be haunted

    *****
    seriously, @Senff is right. The query string _is_ considered part of the URI, and so is treated as a different resource. The solution is to add a ` ` tag to the page, to point out that it is _not_, in fact, a separate page.

    # July 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    There must be some site linking to that specific URL, I think. Might want to check with Google Analytics if there are any referrers.

    # July 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    traq, – – I appreciate the wisecrack, – – but maybe you didn’t catch that he can’t locate the offending page, – – therefore he can’t add anything to it’s ‘alleged’ head section.

    # July 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Thanks, Senff, – – he did mention so far that it is shown in his Google Webmaster tools as multiple duplicate pages, – – maybe he can gleen more out of that . . .

    # July 2, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    The “offending page” is the same as the non-offending one.

    http://www.vanguardhomedesigns.com/products.html?imz_s=c7maq
    http://www.vanguardhomedesigns.com/products.html?blah=aaaaaaaaa
    http://www.vanguardhomedesigns.com/products.html?meh=012345

    They are all the same actual pages. It doesn’t matter what comes after “.html”, it will all just lead to products.html. And so in that file you’ll need to add the canonical tag, so that Google knows that http://www.vanguardhomedesigns.com/products.html is the only page of these that should be indexed.

    # July 2, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Interesting, I didn’t know it would work like that. Thanks Senff!!

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    # July 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

    >traq, – – I appreciate the wisecrack, – – but maybe you didn’t catch that he can’t locate the offending page, – – therefore he can’t add anything to it’s ‘alleged’ head section.

    sorry, I guess I didn’t explain myself clearly enough. (Thanks, @Senff.)

    I addition to what Senff said, even though those URLs will all display the same “page”, the different query strings might affect what content is shown on the page. (They don’t actually appear to do so, in this case – the content is identical each time – but that’s what GET params are intended for. That’s why Google indexes each URL as though it were a different page.)

    # July 3, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Thanks, traq, – – that does make it clearer, although I am still a little confused on why they would appear rather suddenly, and why, for instance, it’s only happening on that particular page. I guess you could say I’m now understanding the cure better than the cause . . .

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    # July 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

    The _specific_ cause is less certain. It could be any number of things – like Senff said, someone might be linking to it that way; it might even be something generated under some circumstance by your CMS.

    # July 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I used to have the same problem on my own site http://www.sidingcontractors.us but it is now fixed.

    Something you should know is Ahrefs and Google Webmaster Tools can help you tell which pages on your site has backlinks, which isn’t just good for issues, but it’s also good if you’re restructuring a website and changing the URLs as it will help tell you which URLs are really important to redirect.

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