Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a website called What can I plant now which is a simple site with a page for each month of the year and a homepage which mirrors the content for the current month.

Example

http://whatcaniplantnow.com shows the content for the current month which is currently exactly the same as http://whatcaniplantnow.com/february This will change from month to month.

Obviously most people will - as the site's title alludes - be looking to find out what they can plant at that time, hence wanting to answer that question on the homepage - it's almost a one page site.

So, from an SEO perspective, would I be best off with my current approach, where the homepage content changes once a month and always duplicates another page, or effectively not having a homepage and instead having http://whatcaniplantnow.com redirect to http://whatcaniplantnow.com/february or whatever the current month is. Or is there a better option?

What is the best way of presenting the homepage content and achieving good search engine rankings?

Cheers,

Pete

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

This raises the problem of duplicate as you seem to be aware...

The best method would to use just some of the information on the front page but ultimately try to get your visitors to click to read more in February.

You want some unique content on the front page so I would do something like:

  1. Add a image slider - Images of lots of vegetables of Feb Plants (Change this monthly, Google loves fresh pages)
  2. List 3 vegetables with unique text about these vegetables (Do not copy from month pages) and with a SEE MORE BUTTON linking to Current Month Page (Change this monthly Google loves fresh pages)
  3. Fill the bottom of the page with around 500 words about why seeds only grow at certain times for year, have a few tips or anything really as long as its on topic about planting seeds. (You shouldn't need to change this monthly and should consider this static.)

Basically you don't want users using the front page you want them clicking though to see what they can plant. So you need to treat these as separate pages and keep them unique.

You should treat your front page as aiming for rankings such as "What can I plant now", "what seeds can I plant now" and the deeper pages "what seeds can you grow in March" ETC. So never duplicate content and never try to rank to much on one page, also Google loves deep links.. its much more natural so to speak.

By the way, Redirecting can hurt rankings especially when your doing this on a monthly basis.

share|improve this answer
    
Ultimately, user experience is more important than SEO. As 95% of people will want to find out what they can grow at the current time, I want to answer that question on the homepage rather than make everyone go via a page that only exists for SEO. So I'm not overly convinced by this approach. The static content at the bottom is a good idea though, that could work well. –  Pete Williams Feb 22 '13 at 23:14
    
I see no other method and in fact this is a commonly used method used by millions of sites. User experience does matter but it means nothing if you don't get the audience. So yes experience does matter but SEO for the average site is important too, you need to find a balance and I believe you trying to Rank the page for 1 term and then another on another page with the exact terms will not work. Normally you use Rel Canonical for duplicates but soon as you do that the front page won't rank and defeats your objective. Additional your question was about duplicate content seo, not user experience –  bybe Feb 23 '13 at 0:01

You don't want to do any redirecting. Users should be able to bookmark the "current advice" given by the home page and the specific advice for any given month.

There does appear to be an SEO problem though, I can't find your home page. If I search for "what can I plant in february cauliflower" I get your /february page. But even searching for "whatcaniplantnow.com" doesn't bring up the home page. Google does appear to be detecting it as duplicate and not showing it for any searches. I don't think redirects would help that.

Maybe you could redesign the home page to be "not quite duplicate". Put 5 things to plant now on the homepage with a "see more" link to the current month and have some articles featured on the home page. Or live with your homepage not being searchable.

share|improve this answer

Use response code 302 - "temporarry redirect" for http://whatcaniplantnow.com/february for redirecting to http://whatcaniplantnow.com/

Because you really just temporarry move uri :)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.