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    Duplicate website pages indexed: Ranking dropped. Does Google checks the duplicate do


    Hi all,

    Our duplicate website which is used for testing new optimisations got indexed and we dropped in rankings. But I am not sure whether this is exact reason as it happened earlier too where I don't find much drop in rankings. Also I got replies in the past that it'll not really impact original website but duplicate website. I think this rule applies to the third party websites. But if our own domain has exact duplicate content; will Google knows that we own the website from any other way we are associated like IP addresses and servers, etc..to find the duplicate website is hosted by us? I wonder how Google treats duplicate content from third party domains and own domains.

    Thanks
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  3. the mango demon
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    Question 1: Why have you made your staging website or test website public and openly accessible to bots?
    Question 2: What stops you from making them nofollow or putting a canonical tag on them to the actual website?
    Question 3: Is that duplicate site on a subdomain or a directory in the main domain?
    Question 4: Is it the first time the duplicate site was indexed and how long has it been around?
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    Question 1: Why have you made your staging website or test website public and openly accessible to bots?

    Ans: By mistake we failed to deploy meta robots tags and robots.txt file correctly which lead to this.

    Question 2: What stops you from making them nofollow or putting a canonical tag on them to the actual website?

    Ans: We made them "noindex, nofollow" now. About Canonical tag, is that required again after blocking them to robots? And I wonder if there is a canonical for entire website. We must deploy page to page.

    Question 3: Is that duplicate site on a subdomain or a directory in the main domain?

    Ans: This is an completely different website. Not a sub domain or sub directory of ours. But previously we have redirected some URLs to our website. So will Google find the association that we own that website and we been employing duplicate content? There are also links to our website from this website.

    Question 4: Is it the first time the duplicate site was indexed and how long has it been around?

    Ans: Not first time, it happened twice earlier around an year and 9 months back. This time it happened around 3 months back.


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  7. Professional SEO
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    You never know when or if they will index such a site, or to which site they will give the ranking.
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  9. the mango demon
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    As a practice on test sites and staging servers we do the follwing
    1. Password protect the entire test site.
    2. Block it using robots.txt
    3. Put cannonical links tags to the real domain (page level), like $domain."/".$pageurl so that we can easily control the $domain variable.

    I after a website is ranking and has been around over a year or two, its rare that another new domain with duplicate content and without links and trust will be able to cause drop in its rankings. But, now that you have addressed the problem it should return to normal again.

    If it was the first month or in the first 6 months of your websites lifecycle I would definitely say duplication affected your rankings but after 1.5 years I doubt it.
    We know it as a fact that some major social sites, popular directories we generate links and social signals from saw strong devaluation recently (last 2-3 months) so your rankings might be down of other reasons as well.

    Comments on this post

    • DirectHits agrees
    SEO Professionals in NewDelhi It is different. Don't believe me? Go check yourself.
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    Not knowing what the site looks like, I would offer the following....

    Fred has been refreshed a few times in the last few months. This algo checks for top heavy ads, interstitial pop-ups, content above the fold, etc, etc.

    These are known quality issues for webpages. If your site has any of the above mentioned issues, expect to see a drop in rankings. These drops could be as subtle as 3 to 4 positions, or in some cases more severe.

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