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We have many printer-friendly pages that have a link that adds ?pf=1 to the URL. On the ?pf=1 page would it be better to have noindex,nofollow or noindex,follow.

I think that it would be better to have noindex,follow as it allows for more links to corresponding pages if the ?pf=1 link happens to be found. However, my colleague suggests using noindex,nofollow because the non-?pf=1 page already has the same links and this would lead to duplicate content.

Should I be worried about a duplicate penalty or is it okay to expose the links on the ?pf=1 page for crawling?

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I create printer layouts is through CSS media queries, namely @print, this avoids all SEO problems –  Baumr Jun 11 '13 at 14:25
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would use a rel canonical link meta tag. The content is exactly the same as on another page. You want the search engines to attribute any links into your printer friendly version to your regular version and not penalize you for duplicate content.

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/article-23443.html"/>

on

http://www.example.com/article-23443.html?pf=1

Another way to deal with it would be to go into Google Webmaster Tools -> Configuration -> URL parameters and add the pf parameter as "Does this parameter change page content seen by the user? No: Doesn't affect page content (ex: tracks usage)". That will set it to "Effect: none, Crawl: representative URL" so that Google might even know that it doesn't need to crawl your print friendly pages to know what is on them.

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