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I have two URLs: http://ent.example.com and http://www.example.com/ent/. Both of them are mapped to my server path /www/ent.

I am very confused, how would this affect my SEO as far as Google is concerned? If two URLs are pointing to the same path, would Google consider this cheating?

  • now it is right place than SO :-) – Vedant Terkar Apr 4 '14 at 6:15
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    You're using the same example.com domain in your question, but with different subdomains (i.e., ent and www), however, you also have a path in the second URL (ent), so it appears you're really asking about two URLs pointing to the same path, and not two domains. I'll let others answer this in regards to issues with duplicate content that this might pose. – dan Apr 4 '14 at 7:13
  • Presumably you only use one version in all your links etc.? And never refer to the other URL? In which case (IMO) the SEO effect will be negligible (if any). However, if you are using both URLs then see foamcow's answer. – MrWhite Apr 4 '14 at 9:09
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The "U" in URL stands for "Unique" (some say Uniform) which should be a good clue here :)

Best case scenario is that you split any "link popularity" between 2 different URLs. Imagine half the visitors to the page using one URL and half using the other URL. Each URL only gets 50% of the traffic, 50% of any popularity "score" that Google might apply. To that end, it makes sense to decide which URL is the one you want to be the Unique reference for the document and redirect the other one (using a 301 redirect).

Worst (or worse) case - you run the risk of a duplicate content penalty or Google simply ignoring one of the URLs in favour of the other but you're not able to pick which one.

If you don't wish to set up a 301 redirect then you should make use of a "canonical url" tag to tell Google (and anything else) which is the source url. This will normally then be the one that is indexed.

Find out more about Canonical URL tags at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en

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If ent.example.com does a 301 redirect to www.example.com/ent/ then all is fine, you loose only a tiny bit of page rank.

You may also use rel=canonical in the header of both pages and add a single url that is relevant.

It's really up to you, have a look at how Google looks at 301 vs rel=canonical.

More info about any further SEO related questions can be found on the official Google Webmasters help Youtube channel.

  • By applying a 301 redirect, you lose some PageRank (a little bit). – Zistoloen Apr 5 '14 at 15:02

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