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looking through Google's Webmaster Tools today I saw a long list of supposedly duplicate <meta name=description> / <title> tag content with all of them showing a duplicate count of 2. A lot of them show as the conflicting URLs something like the following:

/deutschland/Bayern/Camping-Allweglehen-19062
/deutschland/bayern/camping-allweglehen-19062

The only difference is the case of the first letters of some of the words.

I have to admit I was surprised to see that Google treats these as separate URLs. But now that I know it does - what I can I do to clarify that this is the same website? I don't want to use 301 redirects as it would mean overhead for the user and a tiny bit for the server. I feel like I'll have to make sure all URLs that we put on our pages are lowercase so there won't be any reason for any crawler to crawl the same website twice.

Is there any other trick / thing I can do to get rid of these duplicate warnings?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Specify the canonical URL.

<link rel="canonical" href="/deutschland/Bayern/Camping-Allweglehen-19062">

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This sounds like what I'm looking for! I'll keep an eye out if the warnings disappear. Thanx! –  Oliver Jan 26 '11 at 21:39
    
@Oliver Did they disappear? –  marapet Jul 4 '11 at 14:26
    
Honestly, I haven't tried it yet. There have always been more pressing issues around :-) But I'm confident it works. –  Oliver Jul 6 '11 at 7:26
    
i did implemented canonical tag 10 days ago, but pages are still counted as duplicated in google's webmaster tools... do you know how long it will take to be removed from Duplicate title tags page? –  user6211 Nov 11 '13 at 14:32

Some systems are case sensitive with URLs and so I guess Google is honouring that.

The best thing to do is to try and avoid URLs being references in different ways in regard to case.

This can never be 100% so the next best thing maybe to cause 301 redirects when the case is incorrect. This seems a bit of overkill for a minor issue.

A final solution is to use the canonical meta tag to indicate which version of the URL is correct. Oh, that's what @Fabian just said!

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