I am looking for any advice with regards to the SEO / Usability impact of the following.
On the ecommerce site, there are category pages that can be navigated to through various methods. Essentially this would mean that there would be category pages that would have duplicate content, and would also require duplicate effort to maintain.
To minimise this, I am going to 301 redirect the user to the one version of the category page. This will result in the user "hopping" from one parent category to another.
This would be a slight usability issue, but hopefully not too jarring for the customer as the parent categories will make logical sense.
Parent Cat A > Child Cat A1 > Child Cat A1a > Child Cat A1b > Child Cat A1c Parent Cat B > Child Cat B1 > Child Cat B1a -> Redirect to A1a > Child Cat B1b -> Redirect to A1b > Child Cat B1c -> Redirect to A1c
Are there any downsides that I am overlooking, apart from the jarring aspect to the User of unexpectedly hopping between parent categories?
Or would there be any downside to just static links to the cats like so:
Parent Cat A > Child Cat A1 > Child Cat A1a > Child Cat A1b > Child Cat A1c Parent Cat B > Child Cat B1 > Link to A1a > Link to A1b > Link to A1c