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    How to deal with print versions and duplicate content?


    Have a huge site with print versions for each article. Most articles require a log in, and G was indexing only the print versions, wich I optimized.

    Recently, Google has started indexing most of the articles too.

    Will I get penalized for duplicated content?
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    I wouldn't use the word "penalized". If they are on your site and Google beleives it to be duplicate content, only one of the pages will rank.
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    Originally Posted by Jasontnyc
    only one of the pages will rank.
    That shouldn't be a problem. But the ranking of that page wouldn't be affected?
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    The only way that a single page on your website can have its ranking hurt is if there is a duplicate on another domain. Then Google may decide to keep just one.

    If that duplicate page is on your own domain then Google will rank one or the other.

    Where this results in a more signifigant "delisting" is when nearly your entire site is duplicate. This usually occurs with dynamically produced pages only having a few differences (ie. the city name is different) or directories (a half empty biz directory site may have had a lot of its pages dropped in the last two updates).
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    Thanks for the info
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    Nope. As an example, I have a "two keyword combination", and because of my print version I have the two first spots in the SERP (and has had it "for ages).

    But, if you still are worried and you are familiar with CSS-design you can always use only one page which will handle both printing and what you see on your screen. Just deliver a different CSS-file to the printer.

    Comments on this post

    • Jasontnyc agrees : This is the other side of it and absolutely 100% correct..although not necesarily the rule..Thanks for posting that to clarify
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    Mano is correct in saying that you might not even loose one of the pages. I also have my print versions listed and adding a 1,2 punch but because all of the ads and navigation that is removed from the original, I don't think it fits as "duplicate".

    What I would avoid is putting tons of time into printer friendly pages merely to try to get a 1,2 ranking as if they are nearly the same, you run the risk of only ever getting one to rank, basically wasting your time in terms of SEO.

    If these pages are created for your visitors (which is how it sounds) then I wouldn't worry about it

    Comments on this post

    • Mano70 agrees : Agree. I have only one search term that get's me 1,2 ranking because of my printer page.
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    If it bothers you that much use robots noindex.
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    Originally Posted by jjkebab
    If it bothers you that much use robots noindex.
    It doesn't bother him...he is just double checking that it won't affect his ranking. I would suggest against blocking the pages from Google via robots because mistakes can be made. You are better off leaving as is if you aren't 100% confident with your syntax.
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    I have noticed that having similar pages on your website actually puts googlebot off spidering your site. It probably has nothing to do with a duplicate content filter, more like protection against spider traps. But all webmasters and SEOs should be aware of it, especially if they have data driven websites.
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    The print versions of the site are the ones that are doing well in Google. The original versions require a login, but Google indexes them quite often (don't know really how).

    I'd like to put unique titles, meta tags, h1, h2, alt tags and calls to action (i.e. small links to the main sections of the site) to this print pages that are doing well. I just wanted to be sure that the fact that one of my articles and its print version were spidered wouldn't be evaluated as spammy.

    BTW, I don't want to use robots.txt to limitate spider access.

    PS: Thank you all for your advice
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    If you are concerned tehn you could always make the pirnt version uncrawlable, by using robots.txt or rel="nofollow". I would suggest that the best thing to do is to have a print stylesheet and not a seperate print page. It is faster, since you only have to load the additional stylesheet and you would need less disk space.
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    This information puts me in a bit of a quandry - I run a forum site that's been around for 2 years, and virtually no content was indexed by G or anyone else until I put up a partial 'archived' version, which was essentially graphically-stripped pages with an .html extension instead of ".php?". Since putting up this archive G finally indexed about a thousand pages. I got a little greedy a couple days ago and changed the archive parameters to include all threads, but now I'm concerned this will result in duplication problems along the lines of what Jasontnyc mentions.


    G bots still hang out on the php thread pages, but seem to never index. Should I be worried?
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    I'm sorry if this has already been mentioned, I didnt' read through all of the thread.

    I have the same scenario, my ad's also have a printer friendly version, what I did was placed the printer version ads in a seperate folder, and did a robots.txt file so that Google would not pick up these printer ads.

    If you do have both versions, only one of them will be indexed by Google.

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