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I have myproduct.com which is my master product page.

For UK I also own myproduct.co.uk which is a copy of myproduct.com with some localized content: landing page, promotions, prices, and specific tags.

But there is also duplicate content: myproduct.com/FAQs/ is the same as myproduct.co.uk/FAQs/

I don't want to do a redirect from myproduct.co.uk/FAQs/ to myproduct.com/FAQs/ as I don't want people to leave the localized website.

The myproduct.com/FAQs/ is my "go-to" FAQ page and it's the most likely to be up to date - so I want this page to be indexed my search engines, where as I don't care about myproduct.co.uk/FAQs/ being indexed (unless indexing this page would increase my page rank :) ).

What to do now to be SEO friendly & SEO optimal?

  1. Stop indexing of myproduct.co.uk/FAQs/ via robots.txt?
  2. Do some rel="alternate" hreflang="x" configuring on both /FAQs/ page?
  3. Something else?
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

rel="alternate" is intended for exactly this purpose, so I'd go with that. So, for example, mark the .com with hreflang="en" – generic English – and of course hreflang="en-GB" for .co.uk, which should mean that English search outside the UK gets the .com.

The only drawback is that it's Google only, but in UK, US etc. that's over 90% of search so likely acceptable.

If, for whatever reason, you want to simply de-index one version, use noindex meta or X-Robots-Tag: noindex rather than robots.txt. The latter will only block crawling, not indexing.

In some ways, a better option than de-indexing would be to use the canonical link element, as this should1 still mean only one version is indexed but would preserve any value (PageRank, backlinks, etc.) accrued by the non-canonical version. However, if a UK user finds your FAQ through search, they land on your .com site. This may not be ideal if you want UK users to be on the UK site.

1 Bear in mind canonical is not treated by Google as a directive, so it may not be honoured.

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I think rel=canonical is your best answer. See http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ie/2009/12/handling-legitimate-cross-domain.html

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Such type of issues usually do occur when you maintain ccTLDs in addition to main site. It would be the better if you use the canonical tag on your pages, both the ccTLD and the main site. It hints the search engine to take care if duplication arises in the respective pages. As for robots.txt, it is better not to meddle with it, as much as possible,

Here is another question that might help you....

How similar can 2 pages be before Google de-indexes one of them?

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