1

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.

eg:

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
1

In order to avoid Google's accusation of duplicate content, you need to specify canonical content for your duplicate content. In your implementation, this will probably be the content you are redirecting users to (301). Considering the fact of your redirection and Google's quote about canonical content:

To specify which URL that you want people to see in search results.

the content of the page from which you are redirecting will be inaccessible to users and will not be visible in search results. Calls into question the need for a page from which you redirect users.

2
  • Yes, the duplicate content issue (if even an issue searchenginejournal.com/…) shouldnt really be a problem in the eyes of search engines, as it wont exist for all intents and purposes – noelmcg Feb 4 at 13:22
  • The need for the page is due to how a user could possibly navigate to it. The product category would fall under numerous categories. Trying to cater for all potential paths, in the most efficient manner. Without incurring any issues SEO wise. – noelmcg Feb 4 at 13:24
0

This would be a terrible crawling experience for Googlebot and would need a lot of effort to understand navigation across site.

I wouldn't recommend this at all, keep URL navigation as simple as possible.

Also don't use too many inbound 301 redirects as over time Google Algorithms will realise that OK this website is not creating content rather it's a mess of redirects here and there. This will decrease your website's authority.

2
  • I have edited my question above – noelmcg Feb 3 at 13:33
  • Are 301 redirects really seen as that bad by Google? Where used appropriately they can be beneficial? – noelmcg Feb 3 at 19:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.