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I have a calculator for each US state: for example let's say you plug in your income and it tells you your state tax rate, which depends on your state.

The calculator has the same UI for ever state, one simple form. The only difference is the page title and H1 tag "PA Tax Calculator" and "Pennsylvania Tax Rates." Of course, your results depend on the state which is generated using JS.

I am trying to decide between:

  • 50 Unique URLs that I send to Google: example.com/calc/?state=PA and example.com/calc/?state=CA, then state-specific titles on Google: "PA Tax Calculator"
  • One URL for indexing (example.com/calc/) that then uses a select form or geolocation to select the correct state. Leave the Google page title generic: "50 State Tax Calculator"

I'd like to be able to put the state title in the Google search title as I think it would feel more personal for vistors, but it seems like if the 50 pages are too similar it'll just be diluting to have 50 identical pages. This is my first time trying to figure out how to get visitors via SEO.

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  • Follow up question posted here
    – bones225
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 2:54
  • "uses a select form" - How do users navigate between states on the "unique page for each state"?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 12:38
  • onChange of the select form, you are redirected to the correct page (aka ../?state=MA
    – bones225
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 15:03

1 Answer 1

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  1. Use propertly .htaccess and Rewrite Rules to create different URLs (www.example.com/calculate/florida, www.example.com/calculate/texas, ...)

  2. Start the page title and the H1 with the name of the State: "Florida: calculate the tax"

  3. Use H2 to insert text with different words for each State.

Make Google to be sure that they are completely different pages. It's not that complicated :-)

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    "completely different pages" is the key here. Just changing out the state name but keeping everything else the same is against Google's content policies. That would count as doorway pages and could get a site penalized. There has to be at least some real content differences between the pages, not just titles and H1 tags. Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 13:15
  • Of course, I expected this webmaster to create actual different contents. But my recommendation was to underline the title and the H1.
    – Hookstark
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 15:03
  • @StephenOstermiller My issue here is that the raw HTML looks the same for all pages, it's the result / fields that can change depending on the state selected. I submitted a .txt file to google with all the ?state= urls (only option considering GitHub pages). Strangely, only my pages for "Virgin Islands" and "Guam" are showing up on Google -- no other states are showing up.
    – bones225
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 2:44
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    It is fine to create many pages based on the same HTML template as long as enough text on the page differs between them. Just changing the state name without writing whole new paragraphs is not enough. Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 9:25
  • @StephenOstermiller OK. Well them I'm in a tricky spot because the differences won't be seen until a script is run. Perhaps I will just put my SEO effort into boosting 1 page that works for all 50 states, as opposed to 50 pages = 50 states. Just need to accept that to Google it probably looks like I'm using doorway pages, when really I am not. But must adapt
    – bones225
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 20:54

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