My website is about bands and musicians, but I have two problems with it:

1.) A musician can create a profile and add his bio. Bands can also create a profile and add band members and their bio. Many musicians are members of several bands, so I will have the bios of them repeated on several pages of my website.

Any idea how to control this since the site will be populated and controlled more or less by its users?

Here's an example:

A band has 10 members and will create a "band" profile. Lets say half of the band members will create their own profiles, while half don't care and will never do this, or they have it on some other website and won't bother doing it again on my website.

2.) If musicians will have bios on my website, there is also a (huge) possibility that they also have their own website with the same bio that will just be copy-pasted, or have the same bio on MySpace and similar websites, which will again result in duplicate content.

If I disable the option for users to add their bios, then the whole concept of the website doesn't make sense.

3 Answers 3


This issue you can fix by using canonical URL option,

First of all, the musician profile in your site is the proper content (or canonical parent).

The bands have the same musician profile this should be canonical to the musician actual profile like,

Suppose musician profile url is musician-1

then this musician will comes under bands like bands-profile-1

simply add a canonical url in bands-profile-1 like below.

<link href="http://sample.com/musician-1" rel="canonical" />

This will solve your duplicate profile issue in different bands and musician profile.

The next issue you pointed is the musician profile have a web site and should have same content keep in mind its not your site so its duplicate content will case by Search Engine Crawlers . So fixing this issue is try to avoid exact copy of that profile to your site just edit or make some difference in entire content .

This way can solve your duplicate content issue, without losing the concept of your website.

  • Site is still not done, so i can change whatever i want. Think of this website as MySpace. Everyone can create different kind of profiles (be it band or musician) at any point. I could add canonical if i was doing all content by myself, but everything will be created by users.
    – Azz Kawa
    Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 14:02
  • Whilst a canonical tag might solve the duplicate content issue (if the SEs see them as duplicate), the users don't necessarily know which is expected to be the canonical profile. I think the bigger problem is that a user is able to enter the same bio information in more than one place on the site. This is not only confusing for search engines, but potentially confusing for users as well. A band member is a musician, so should therefore only have one bio. Unless the bio entered under the "band" section is in somehow unique to the band?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 16:26
  • 1
    @BigBrother2010 even users adding content you can make canonical, when creating musician under band you can give a list of available musician and force them to select from list when they try to create an existing profile, then you can make sure canonical works fine. This logic will apply in reverse case too.
    – Jobin
    Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 17:31
  • 1
    @JobinJose - i am working on solution like you mentioned. Should not be a problem to force users to pick from available profiles, and vice versa if musician perhaps wants to pick all the bands he plays at that have a profile.
    – Azz Kawa
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 21:35
  • @BigBrother2010 sure it works well.
    – Jobin
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 2:00

Obviously your website has been created without thinking about SEO but you can think about refactoring some functionalities to optimize it for SEO.

1) You can refactor your profile creation process; you can just propose to create of a profile per user. But you give the possibility to a user to create a band (or group) and add musicians to it (other existing profiles). The band (or group) page will have only links to profile pages of musicians. In that way, you avoid duplicate content issues because each musician manages his profile page and possibly band (or group) pages.

2) When a user create his bio, you can give him some hints like "please don't copy paste content from another website". You can also force the user to answer to questions you created to be sure having non duplicate content. If you want to be sure of non duplicate content, you can implement a duplicate content checker when the user saves his bio but a user could copy paste on another site the bio from your site in the future.

And think about merging from your system to the new one (301 redirect from old URLs to new ones...).


I've considered this for setting up community sites. My prefered setup today is to give everybody a subdomain which links back to the main domain. Thus the duplicate content is on that subdomain and not the main site.

  • You can't "hide" duplicate content on a subdomain. Google takes the entire internet into account when determining duplicate content. Commented May 18, 2020 at 19:43

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