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Picture this, a network of websites. Each running under a highly relevant domain name, with information about a specific medical problem, having three unique pages: about the problem, subgroups of this problem (sometimes one page for each subgroup), and treatments. But each site also having three pages common to every website in this network: a tool for finding clinics treating the problem, a page about the network and a page about the kind of treatment which all these websites have in common and which the treatments are special cases of. Plus, on each page there are two sidebars, one with ads and one with links to the other websites in the network. Both of these sidebars being identical on all websites.

From a user's point of view I think this is a pretty good setup. But we're now creating a master website for the network and I need to know the SEO aspects of it. For example, would it be better to place the common pages on the master website and linking to it from the network websites?

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I would not host the common pages on the master website. I would continue to host each of them on their individual sites, but you should use <link rel="canonical"> in the head to point to the master sites version of those pages. For SEO reasons, that should mitigate any duplicate content issues, and from a UX perspective, it will keep the users on the site they came to.

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