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Our company provides listings (in the manner of a directory) for companies by geographic location (country, state, city, etc.).

It's a great user experience to be able to click on each link below to see all companies registered in for example United States, Texas and Dallas:

www.example.com/United-States
www.example.com/United-States/Texas
www.example.com/United-States/Texas/Dallas

What do Google think about this? Will I get punished for duplicate content, since all companies in for example Dallas also will show for the state of Texas and for country United States?

I know I could add canonical links, but I would prefer if all 3 examples above (and all my other countries, states, cities) were listed on Google. Maybe that's a risk? Maybe there is another solution?

Maybe I also should mention that each list above shows company name and a short company description and when you click on the company you will find the full details.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

To avoid duplicate content, you can apply this architecture of pages for your listings:

  • www.example.com/united-states (a page with just the listing of all states of the United States)
  • www.example.com/united-states/texas (a page with just the listing of cities in Texas)
  • www.example.com/united-states/texas/dallas (a page with just the listing of companies settled in Dallas)
  • www.example.com/united-states/texas/dallas/verizon-wireless (a page with the details about Verizon Wireless company)

With this architecture, there is no risk for SEO because you can't have duplicate content between your pages. Moreover, you don't need to implement canonical URLs.

After this, if you want to propose a listing of all companies in Texas, you can provide a search form with state choice as an input.

Otherwise, having just a listing (only links) of states or cities or companies in a page can be a little bit light for content. In these pages, before displaying the listing, you can add some content about the United States or Texas or Dallas.

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This isn't very user-friendly for people that want all of the companies in Texas... –  Ivo van der Veeken Dec 12 '13 at 13:11
1  
I understand your point but it depends on number of companies in Texas. It's not very user-friendly either to display 1000 companies on the same listing. –  Zistoloen Dec 12 '13 at 14:19

As long as the pages have more unique content than duplicated content I don't think it will affect the SEO. Also we are talking about location and as long as the whole location is unique on the site, Google will not see "duplicated" part of the location as Duplicated.

Also if you really want to make sure that Google see the Country and state of your location as part of the location you can use the Google's Rich snippets for Organisations. This way the robot will better understand the content of your pages. You may even be able to gain some extra SEO point by using this.

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