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I'm currently looking to grow traffic on a consumer-facing reviews site (Like Yelp, but for the security industry). One strategy we are pursuing is to provide localized content based on the zip code or city that the user searches with on Google.

In essence, we want to create separate versions of each company profile page for each area that the company serves to drive targeted, local traffic to the page. An example would be a company with a top-level profile URL of example.com/security/company-a and a local version of the profile at example.com/security/chicago/60657/company-a.

My question is this: Does it make sense to use canonical URLs here? That is, point all local profile URLs back to the top-level profile URL? On one hand, these pages will be largely similar and I want to ensure we are not confusing Google with duplicate content. On the other hand, would using canonicals prevent the local profile webpages from being shown on local Google search queries?

As our content grows on the site, I can definitely envision more unique content on each page (i.e. highlighting local reviews for that company) to improve the relevance of the local page. Do you have thoughts as to what to do here? I would be very appreciative for your advice.

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Yes and no. You would be telling google the pages serve the same purpose, but you prefer page A instead of B or C. –  guisasso Apr 8 at 16:25
    
Don't forget to approve the answer if you like it, thanks! –  JVerstry Aug 25 at 17:40

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If pages are duplicate content or near duplicate content, then yes, it is recommended to use canonical.

But in your case, your objective is to serve a different profile per geographic location. In this case, you should make your pages sufficiently different to not be considered as near duplicate content.

If some pages do not reach that level of individuality, then you should mark them as canonical of another page until they do. This will mitigate risks of near duplicate content. It should be easy to achieve this if you generate your pages dynamically.

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