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I have a web site where there are lots of dynamically (database driven) created pages. These pages are basically used to show uploaded images

The pages look a bit like this

URL: http://www.mywebsite.com/page-id/page-title/

H1: View from the sea

This is a big issue because I might have 10 other pages with the title: 'View from the sea'. I know the simple solution would be to make sure the pages are named differently but I have lots of users on the web site so it's not that simple.

What do you guys think to putting the page-id with the page-title in the H1 tag? So it might read 437 - View from the sea. I need to differentiate the h1 titles. I think using the page-id would help but if anyone has a better solution that would be great!

Thanks in advance

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Why do you need to differentiate the page titles? The URLs will never clash under your existing scheme because the page IDs should each be unique. –  Nick Jun 23 '11 at 16:47
2  
I agree with Nick -- this ain't a good idea to have some sort of "serial numbers" in the main title, unless it is very important part of the system (like, ticket ID/accident number/question number) -- but even then it still will be better to have it separate (from visual point at least). In your case (show uploaded images) I personally would be annoyed as a user to see any IDs there. –  LazyOne Jun 23 '11 at 17:45
    
I'm not worried about the page URL's, it's the H1 i'm worried about. –  codemonkey Jun 27 '11 at 9:06

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'm going to answer this from an SEO perspective since the comments on your question do a good job of addressing the other issues at hand.

Because the pages on your site will have very little content (I am assuming you are showing an image and possibly a description of it) if your pages have the same <title> and <h1> tags they will be very similar to each and may run into duplicate content issues. Naturally you want to avoid this.

My recommendation is to add as much content to those pages as possible to help them differentiate themselves. Make sure you add things like the name of the person who uploaded it, the date it was uploaded, where the picture was taken, etc. If you don't have descriptions for those images you should consider allowing users to add one. I would also recommend allowing comments for each picture as that will help generate unique content for each page.

I would also recommend differentiating the <title> and <h1> tags if at all possible. Adding the ID isn't necessarily a bad thing but you might be able to do it better. Maybe append the name of the user who submitted it to them. Like this:

"View from the sea" by Ben Dover

If that doesn't help then maybe adding the date submitted to the <title>, and maybe the <h1>, might be in order. Place them after the title of the picture as they are less important then the title of the photo.

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Hi, thanks for your help on this (sorry about delay getting back to you). Content is already being displayed on those pages per image. Things like 'taken by' and date etc. I like the idea of having the page title like this 'View from the sea' by ben dover. but that might not stop duplicates. I don't understand why search engines don't like duplicate H1 tags. It's perfectly concieveable that there may be duplicate page titles as there are lots of user generated content sites out there. –  codemonkey Jun 27 '11 at 9:11

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