We've done some changes to the structure of our site and have a dilemma. What would you do, suggestion 1, 2 or something else entirely?
I'm looking forward to this forum's expertise.
Weve added a new "Mattress" category as a separate category on the website, it has led to two duplicate versions of the same sub-category, sub-sub category pages and product pages co-existing with each other. One under Baby Furniture category with Mattress as a sub-category and the second version under the newly added category “Mattress”. The URLs under Mattress category are the old URLs names which earlier existed under Baby Furniture. These URLs have now been migrated to the Mattress category. While, the URLs which now exist under ‘Baby Furniture’ are completely new URLs.
The Table below, with examples, will help you understand the current structure of how the sub-category, sub-sub category and product URLs exist on our website for Mattress products.
1. Under Baby Furniture (with new URLs):
Sub-Category URL, Crib Mattresses - www.ababy.com/subcategory.asp?CID=1196
Sub, sub-Category URL, Organic Crib Mattress - www.ababy.com/subcategory.asp?CID=1208
Product URL, Breathable Crib Mattress and Bumper - www.ababy.com/itempage.asp?CategoryID=1208&mirid=1022&itemno=17017
2. Under new “Mattress” Category:
Sub-Category URL, Crib Mattresses - www.ababy.com/subcategory.asp?CID=74
Sub, sub-Category URL, Organic Crib Mattress - www.ababy.com/subcategory.asp?CID=1022
Product URL, Breathable Crib Mattress and Bumper - www.ababy.com/itempage.asp?CategoryID=1022&mirid=0&itemno=17017
As you can see the same Sub-category name, sub-sub category name and product name has two different sets of URLs under two different categories.
Now, from SEO perspective, search engines will treat these URLs as duplicate and this will lead to duplicate content penalization from search engines, especially Google. After Google’s Panda update, these aspects have become very critical and are treated stringently by Google.
To counter this penalization from search engines, we suggest following solutions:
Solution 1 - Implementing a Canonical “rel” tag to all the Mattress URLs under Baby Furniture category redirecting to their respective URL now under Mattress category. This is because the URLs under Baby Furniture are new URLs while the ones under “Mattress” are old URLs so their value would be higher.
Solution 2 - Adding new and unique content to all new Mattress related URLs for sub-category, sub-sub category & product pages under Baby Furniture. If this is done, then we can then optimize these URLs and add unique title and descriptions for these URLs. This way both versions of the URLs can co-exist without attracting penalization.
Without changing the content, if we simply add unique title and descriptions to these new URLs, it will not help and these URLs will still be considered as duplicate.
Out of the two solutions proposed, we strongly recommend going with Solution 1, as creating two versions of content for a same sub-category, same sub-sub category and more importantly same product might be difficult.
Does anyone else have any better alternatives?