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I have a cars website where a single item (a car) is found with this url syntax: hostname.it/car/city/id
but since every car has a unique ID I didn't differentiate it with cities,
in other words cities don't work as categories,
in other words
hostname.it/car/rome/4566 and hostname.it/car/milan/4566
return the same car, the same applies to non-existing cities like
hostname.it/car/abcdef/4566

However the right url is only one, the one with the city where the car actually is.
So if in my sitemap for each ID (for each car) there is only one url I would like to know if this is bad for SEO, and results in lower ranking.

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To be bad for SEO in what way? Duplicate content I guess.

CASE 1 - You don't need or use the multiple URLs

It all depends on whether google will discover and index the alternative pages. If it does, there might be a problem. So all you have to do is make sure google doesn't discover and index them. If you don't give google a reason to do it, it won't index them. Make sure that nothing in your code points to any of these URLs and you should be safe.

PS: Actually every site has "duplicate" pages like example.com and example.com?kk . These URLs get ignored by google because the sites never use them.

CASE 2 - You want to keep and use the multiple URLs

If you want to keep and use the multiple city URLs however, then you should define a canonical address where to point the page(s). Google has included in their guidelines some examples very similar to your case.

Basically this is what you do:

Mark up the canonical page and any other variants with a rel="canonical" link element. Add a <link> element with the attribute rel="canonical" to the <head> section of these pages:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://blog.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome" />
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