Duplicate Content and Duplicate URLs in XML Sitemaps

Websites with multiple URLs that duplicate content is bad for rankings in search engines. Duplicate URLs and content should be resolved when creating and uploading XML sitemaps.

Note: We have a video tutorial:

Solve Website Pages and URLs with Duplicate Content

Search engines and software like TechSEO360 will follow all internal links and redirects within your website.

Ways to solve problems with duplicate content and page URLs:
  • Avoid having pages with duplicate content.
  • Avoid linking to pages that duplicate content.
  • Redirect duplicate pages to appropriate URLs, e.g. using mod_rewrite.
  • Redirect www and non-www URLs of same page to same destination.
  • You can canonical, noindex and robots text file filter pages with duplicate content.
  • Filter URLs both during and after crawl using analysis and output filters.
  • The links analysis tools in our software can help you discover and solve website issues.

Problems with Duplicate Page URLs

Even if search engines like Google will not always penalizes you for duplicate content, they will still have to choose one of the URLs / pages to show in search results and ignore all other duplicates. That means all links pointing to the wrong URL will potentially be ignored and no longer fully counted when search engines like Google and Bing calculates importance.

Problems with Duplicate Content

You can check for duplicate content in title tag, h1 tag, h2 tag meta tag description and meta tag keywords across all page URLs in your website.

To check for duplicate page titles, descriptions or headers:
  1. Select the appropriate filter in the dropdown.
  2. Press the filter button. All URLs with duplicate titles now get shown and grouped together.

check for duplicate content in URLs
(Note: Screenshot is from A1 Website Analyzer meaning more features are available)

You can view the results after applying the quick filtering of the data collected during the website crawl.

Duplicate Content and Similarity Analysis

You can often visually see which pages have similar content by enabling the following option before starting the site scan:
Scan website | Data collection | Perform keyword density analysis of all pages

check for similar content in page URLs

If you have language detection working correctly, you can further improve the quality of this. Simply set Keyword tools | Content keyword analysis | Select stop words to either match the main language of your website or auto if your website uses multiple languages. Doing this allows the crawler to exclude all common words and only analyse content words.

Using Port Numbers and WWW vs Non-WWW in URLs

Do you have inconsistent usage of with-www vs non-www, e.g. http://example.com and http://www.example.com.
Do you have inconsistent usage of port numbers, e.g. http://www.example.com:80 and http://www.example.com.

With our technical SEO software you can configure root path aliases such as those described. However, even this may cause a problem since all internal URLs found in the website scan will all be converted to either with-www or non-www which may differ from the paths search engines such as Google already knows about and have indexed.

Note: Normally you will not need to change settings such as root path aliases. Instead, TechSEO360 defaults to handle URLs mixed with default HTTP port number and www/non-www through these options:
  • Scan website | Crawler options | Fix "internal" URLs with default port explicitly number defined
  • Scan website | Crawler options | Fix "internal" URLs with ".www" incorrect compared to website root

Index File and Directory Website Paths

Mixing usage of similar URLs with duplicate content is often a bad idea. Various search engines will flag that as duplicate URLs and your site rankings may suffer from it. You should always fix such issues in your website.

Some example issues and the options found in our technical SEO tool to handle them automatically:

If mixing example/ with example/index.html use option:
Scan website | Crawler options | Consider non-redirected index file name URLs as "duplicates"
URLs that fit above get response code -9 : RedirectIndexFileDirRoot.

directory index file

If mixing dir/example/ with dir/example use option:
Scan website | Crawler options | Consider non-redirected with-slash and non-slash URLs as "duplicates"
URLs that fit above get response code -14 : rcRedirectNoSlashDirRoot.

HTML Meta Refresh Redirects

While page meta refresh redirects generally are frowned upon by search engines, they are still sometimes used. Example of meta refresh redirect HTML code:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=http://www.example.com/new-url.html">

The crawler engine in our technical SEO software recognizes meta refresh redirects when:
  • The meta refresh redirect wait time is set to 0.
  • The meta refresh redirect goes to a different page.

URLs that fit above get response code -11 : MetaRefreshRedirect.

Mixed Case in Website URLs

If you mix case in URLs and links:
  • Unix servers like Apache often respond with fix internal links to a single case in URLs, e.g. to lower case URLs.
  • You may want to setup redirects for those requests that use incorrect case, e.g. from old external backlinks to your website.
  • You can disable option: Website scan | Crawler options | Consider internal paths case sensitive in TechSEO360

    duplicate urls case
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