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we have category pages with a few hundred products per category. The category pages are properly paginated according to Googles guidelines for pagination. One page shows 16 products. In addition to this, we have written descriptive content for every category that is displayed below the products. It consists of ~800 words.

In order to prevent duplicate content, should this descriptive content only be shown on the first page?

From UX perspective it would be best to show the content on every page, but I am not sure about duplicate content here, because every page has its own canonical (in alignment with the Google guidelines for pagination). What is the proper implementation here? I couldn't find official recommendations.

Thank you very much

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Since your question is about product descriptions and you're concerned about duplicate content, I'm assuming that this is because all of your product descriptions for the category are basically the same. If that's not the case, please provide more context in your question.


If all of the products are a part of the same category; assuming that they only differ in terms of secondary attributes (such as color), and thus the product descriptions are otherwise all the same, I would provide the general description before the list of products.

For example:

<h1>Product Category</h1>

<p>Description that applies to all here...</p>

<div class="the-products">
    <div class="cards-wrapper">
        <div class="card">
            <img src="example.com/yadayada.jpg" />
            <p>Product Name - Blue</p>
        </div>
        <div class="card">
            <img src="example.com/dadadada.jpg" />
            <p>Product Name - Green</p>
        </div>

You could repeat this throughout the pagination if you like, or only show it on the first page. Here's a relevant quote from Google's John Mueller regarding sections of content that are repeated throughout a site:

“With that kind of duplicate content it’s not so much that there’s a negative score associated with it. It’s more that, if we find exactly the same information on multiple pages on the web, and someone searches specifically for that piece of information, then we’ll try to find the best matching page.

So if you have the same content on multiple pages then we won’t show all of these pages. We’ll try to pick one of them and show that. So it’s not that there’s any negative signal associated with that. In a lot of cases that’s kind of normal that you have some amount of shared content across some of the pages.”

The answer, in this case, is UX > nit-picky SEO stuff. Do what you think is right. Google will figure it out.

The type of duplicate content that will hurt you is also plagiarism. Repeating your own words on multiple pages of your website is harmless.

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